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SHANGHAI, China -- The U.S. men's and women's compound archery teams are streaking at the right moment. After claiming the 2010 Ogden World Cup team titles, the two squads have picked up right where they finished in August. Leading the charge at the fourth and final qualifying stage of the 2010 World Cup season is two-time World Champion Reo Wilde and 2010 World Cup Stage 2 champion Erika Anschutz.
Wednesday started the fourth stage of the 2010 Archery World Cup season and will conclude on Sept. 4. Archers compete at four qualifying World Cup stages earning valuable points based on final placement in hopes of earning one of the 32 athlete positions that will compete in the World Cup Finals in Edinburgh, Scotland, Sept. 18-19.
Wilde opened the four-day event with a 703 total that put him atop the leader board that included 55 10s, the most for the men's compound field. He will possibly be tested in the elimination rounds by a contingency of top international archers that includes: 2008 World Cup finalist Patrick Coghlan of Australia; 2009 World silver medalist Liam Grimwood of Great Britain; 2007 World Champion Dietmar Trillus of Canada; FITA Round world record holder Peter Elzinga of Netherlands.
Ben Cleland of Swanton, Ohio, qualified at the No. 2 position with a 701 total, which included 54 10s. Cleland is competing at his second World Cup qualifying event. Finishing third in the qualification round was 2010 Ogden World Cup individual champion Braden Gellenthien of Woodbridge, Va., who shot a 700, with 53 10s. 2010 Ogden World Cup bronze medalist Rodger Willet, Jr., of Glouchester, Va., finished 22nd in the qualification round and could possibly meet up with Gellenthien and Cleland during the eliminations.
The U.S. men's team that is comprised of Gellenthien, Wilde and Willet, will enter into the team elimination round as the No. 1 ranked team again. The trio combined for a 2,090 score on Wednesday at Yuan Shen Stadium. Sitting right behind Team USA are Great Britain with 2,088 and Iran with a 2,075.
Wednesday brought another feather to U.S. women's team caps as they set a new FITA world team record with a combined 2,068 score that surpasses France's 2,044 that was achieved in 2008. Leading this notable squad was Anschutz of Lincoln, Neb., who shot a 693 that places her second in the qualification round. She shot a 347 in the first 36 arrows, and a 346 in the second 36 from 70 meters.
Also assisting in the new world record was 2010 Ogden World Cup bronze medalist Jamie Van Natta of Toledo, Ohio, who marked a 689 to finish 6th, and Diane Watson of Hudson, Fla., who notched a 686 that places her 12th in qualification.
USA Archery resident athlete Jake Kaminski of Chula Vista, Calif., leads Team USA in the recurve division by finishing 6th in the eliminations with a 676 score. 2008 U.S. Olympian Brady Ellison of Chula Vista, Calif., is tied at 13th with a 670 score. Five-time U.S. Olympian Butch Johnson of Woodstock, Conn., finished in 50th with a 649 in the eliminations. Three-time U.S. Olympian Vic Wunderle of Charlotte, N.C., narrowly advanced to the elimination round with a 644 that placed him 57th overall.
The trio of Kaminski, Ellison and Wunderle will shoot in the team eliminations after placing seventh on Wednesday with a 1,990. Team USA won the men's recurve team gold medal at the 2010 World Cup Stage 3 event in Ogden last month.
Four-time Olympian Khatuna Lorig of West Hollywood, Calif., paced the U.S. team in the qualification round with a 657 score to place in a tie for fourth. Two-time U.S. Olympian Jennifer Nichols of Bryan, Texas, is in the middle of the pack of archers with a 643 for 17th overall. Heather Koehl and Kristin Braun, both USA Archery resident athletes out of Chula Vista, Calif., are 28th and 57th, respectively.
The women's recurve team, consisting of Lorig, Nichols and Koehl, qualified in the third position with a combined 1,934. Korea sits first with 1,999, while China is second with a 1,944.
Thursday's competition will feature the individual eliminations to determine the gold- and bronze-medal matches that will be conducted on Saturday, Sept. 4. Also the Mixed Team competition through the bronze-medal match will be held on Thursday. For complete results, click here.
The Archery World Cup, which started in 2006, has been a popular event for FITA, the international federation for archery. The event allows organizers to select unique competition venues. The United States hosted the third stage in Ogden, Utah, last month that saw Team USA win seven medals. The Archery World Cup has grown into one of the annual premiere events for the international federation that attracts approximately 300 athletes from 30 countries at each of the various qualifying stages.
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