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November 28, 2010

U.S. Athletes Medal at Face 2 Face in Amsterdam

Recurve archer Brady Ellison (Chula Vista, CA), currently ranked second in the world, has won the 10th Face to Face Indoor Tournament in Amsterdam, finishing a year that has been nothing short of spectacular for the 22 year old Olympian. Fellow Americans joining Ellison on the podium today were Christie Colin (Ransomville, NY) and Dave Cousins (Portland, ME), both shooting in the compound division. 

Ellison, who met fellow U.S. Olympian Vic Wunderle (Charlotte, NC) in the semifinals, ultimately defeated Wunderle to face Olympic medalist Magnus Petersson (SWE) for the gold, while Wunderle met Frank Fisseux (FRA) in the bronze match. Fisseaux ultimately took the bronze after a 4-1 decision over Wunderle. In the gold match, Ellison and Petersson tied with perfect 30s for their first set, resulting in a one arrow shoot-off, in which both archers shot tens, but Petersson was closer to the center. Both archers tied the second set, also with a 30, but the tiebreaking decision favored Ellison, who shot a 10 to Petersson's 9.

Both archers tied the third set as well with a pair of 29s; keeping spectators on the edges of their seats, each archer shot an X, and Ellison took the match point, just one millimeter closer to the center. A fourth and fifth set both tied with 30s for each shooter, resulting in shoot-offs; Ellison took both, shooting a 10 for the final tiebreaker to Petersson's 9, clinching a 4-1 gold medal victory. "I just shot the best match of my life to win the gold," said Ellison. "Five shoot-offs against Magnus [Petersson] and I did not miss."

For the recurve women, Youth Olympic Games bronze medalist Tatiana Segina (RUS) remained strong against opponent Coby Hurkmans (NED), winning her gold medal with a 4-1 decision.  In the bronze match, Carina Christiansen (DEN) defeated Justyna Mospinek (POL) 4-3 after a tense match in which there were several perfect scores and tiebreakers.

On the compound side, 16 year old Cadet FITA Round world record holder Mike Schlosser (NED) overtook teammate Peter Elzinga (NED) with a 4-1 win to claim the gold medal; Dave Cousins (USA) faced Morten Boe (NOR) in the bronze match, which he took with a 4-3 victory after a single arrow shoot-off. For the women, Ivana Buden (CRO) overtook World Cup Final gold medalist Albina Loginova (RUS) to win the gold medal match with a 4-0 shutout victory. In this category, however, the excitement was in the bronze medal match, in which 2011 United States Archery Team members Erika Anschutz and Christie Colin faced one another. Anschutz took the first set of the match; however, Colin came back strong, shooting four consecutive 30s to take the bronze medal with a 4-2 victory.

In addition to Ellison, Colin and Anschutz, other 2011 United States Archery Team members who participated in Face 2 Face were Braden Gellenthien, Logan Wilde, Jamie Van Natta and Jesse Broadwater. 

Face 2 Face offers shooters a unique format, with a succession of Round Robin matches in which two match points are given for a win, and one for a tie. Matches are shot within a group of six archers through the quarterfinals, with each archer competing in a twelve-arrow match against each other archer.  The top two archers in each group continue to advance, as well as a number of athletes termed "lucky losers," who advance based solely on the total number of arrow points scored.

Effectively narrowing the field from 96 archers to 48, 24, 12 and 4, this unique system permits archers to focus exclusively on head-to-head competition while still shooting many arrows. Once the semifinal matches have been reached, archers then compete using the set system, shooting for the best of seven three-arrow sets. Tiebreakers are decided with single arrow shoot-offs with the winning arrow being that which is closest to the center; each set is worth one point, and the first athlete to reach four points is declared the winner. Complete results may be found at http://www.face2face-archery.org

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