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September 19, 2010

U.S. Olympian Brady Ellison Claims First 2010 World Cup Final Title

EDINBURGH, Great Britain - This calendar year for 2008 U.S. Olympian Brady Ellison could be one of the best ever for the 22-year-old men's individual recurve archer. On Sunday, the USA Archery resident athlete, originally from Chandler, Ariz., capped off the 2010 World Cup season by winning the men's individual recurve gold medal in the 2010 World Cup Final by defeating 2009 World champion Dong-Hyun Im of Korea, 6-2. 

The Archery World Cup Final features the top eight archers from the four qualifying stages in a two-day tournament. The athletes compete in a head-to-head competition, where the winner is determined by winning the best of five sets. A set victory is worth two points, while a tie earns each athlete one set point. The Archery World Cup Final featured athletes in men's and women's individual recurve and compound archery. Additionally, the No. 1 ranked mixed team from the qualifying stages qualified to compete a squad from Great Britain.

Ellison, who was the first athlete to qualify for the World Cup Final, started his title run with a 6-2 decision over host country's Alan Wills. In the semifinals, Ellison needed a dramatic come-from-behind effort against Jayanta Talukdar of India, a two-time World Cup stage winner. Talukdar and Ellison tied the first, three-arrow set with 28. Talukdar took the next two sets, 29-28 and 27-25, for a 5-1 advantage. Ellison returned the favor with a 29-25 and 27-26 set wins in the fourth and fifth set, respectively, to push the semifinal contest into a one-arrow shoot-off. Both archers shot a nine in the extra stanza, but Ellison advanced as his arrow was one centimeter closer to the center, for a 6-5 victory. Talukdar finished third overall with a 6-2 win over Marco Galiazzo of Italy.

The gold-medal match was a match-up of the top-two ranked archers in the world. Ellison overtook Im for the No. 1 world ranking last month. Ellison started the match with a 28-27 first end advantage for an early 2-0 set score advantage. In the second end, the two archers tied at 29, allowing Ellison to maintain a 3-1 lead. The American took the third set with a mere 27-26 score, for a 5-1 match score. Ellison and Im tied the fourth end with 29 again, which gave Ellison his first World Cup Final title.

Ellison and fellow 2008 U.S. Olympian Jennifer Nichols of Bryant, Texas, competed on Saturday in the recurve mixed team event. They easily defeated Great Britain's Simon Terry and Naomi Folkard, 138-133.

Women's Compound:

Erika Anshutz of Lincoln, Neb., who earned five World Cup stage medals in 2010, came into the World Cup Final as the No. 2 World Cup women's compound archer. She opened the competition with a straight set victory over Linda Ochoa of Mexico, 6-0. Anschutz won 29-28, 29-,28, and 30-29. The semifinal put Anschutz up against Canada's Ashley Wallace, who won the first set 28-27. The pair tied the second set 28-28, with Wallace maintaining a 3-1 lead. Wallace was perfect in the third set with three 10s, increasing her lead to 5-1, and finished the match in the fourth end with a 29-28 win for a 7-1 match score, giving her a spot in the gold-medal final.

Anschutz returned to form in the bronze-medal match against Andrea Gales of Great Britain. Anschutz dominated the host-country archer by winning three of the four ends and tying the second set for a 7-1 victory.

Loginova, who is the reigning World champion, claimed her first World Cup Final title by defeating Wallace in a one-arrow tie-breaker, 6-5. Jamie Van Natta of Toledo, Ohio, returned to her third World Cup Final, and was defeated in the quarterfinals by Wallace, 6-3.

Men's Compound:

World Cup Final history was made in men's compound division as it was a rematch of the 2009 World Cup Final between Sergio Pagni of Italy and Braden Gellenthien of Woodbridge, Va. Pagni won last year's World Cup Final in Denmark. The outcome for the 2010 title was the same, as Pagni become the first archer to ever successfully defend his World Cup Final title.

The gold-medal match started with both archers shooting the same score in the first two ends, 28 and 29, respectively. Gellenthien took the third end, 29-27, for a 4-2 set score. Pagni took the last two sets, 30-28 and 30-29, for a match victory, 6-4. This is Gellenthien's third World Cup Final silver medal.

Gellenthien, who won the World Cup stage in Ogden, Utah, in August, started Saturday's competition with a 6-2 vcitory over Great Britain's Chirs White. The semifinal round put Gellenthien up against New Zealand's Shaun Teasdale. The duo split the first two sets and tied the third for a 3-3 match score. Gellenthien narrowly edged Teasdale in the last two ends, 29-28 in both and for the match victory, 7-3.

Rodger Willet, Jr., of Glouchester, Va., qualified for his first World Cup Final. Willet, who won two bronze medals at qualifying stages, opened Saturday's event with a 6-5 tie-breaker victory of No. 2 World Cup ranked Jorge Jimenez of El Salvador. Willet advanced to the semifinals against Pagni, where Willet fell short in a heartbreaking five-set defeat, 6-4.

In the bronze-medal final, Willet dominated Teasdale by winning three of four sets and earning his first World Cup Final medal with a 6-2 decision. Willet won 28-27, 30-27, and 30-27, and lost the second set 29-28.

Women's Recurve:

Korea's Ok-Hee Yun won the gold in women's recurve by defeating Victoriya Koval of Ukraine, 7-3. The bronze was awarded to Bo Bae Ki of Korea, as she came from behind to win the last three ends for a 6-2 victory over Justyna Mospinek of Poland, 6-2.

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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