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May 06, 2010

U.S. Olympians Brady Ellison and Vic Wunderle In Saturday's World Cup Finals

The second day of the 2010 Archery World Cup first stage was much like the previous - Team USA success. Thursday's competition brought the spotlight to the men's recurve archers as Brady Ellison (Chula Vista, Calif.) and Vic Wunderle (Charlotte, N.C.), both U.S. Olympians, advanced through the elimination round to qualify to shoot against each other in the World Cup Stage 1 finals on Saturday, May 8 over the marina located in Porec, Croatia.


Wunderle, a three-time Olympian and the 2000 silver medalist, started the day with a 4-0 decision over Ryan Tyack of Australia and a 4-2 decision over Juan Rene Serrano of Mexico. In the round of 16, Wunderle was tested by Markiyan Ivashko of Ukraine. Wunderle advanced with a 4-3 decision over Ivashko who won the first match. A tie-breaker was needed for the third and deciding match. In the quarterfinal, Wunderle knocked off France's Franck Fisseux, 6-4 that started with Wunderle winning the first two matches, and dropping the next two, where a fifth and final match was won by Wunderle, 26-25.


The semifinal round brought another tough set for Wunderle where six matches were needed. Wunderle performed under the pressure with three-arrow scores of 29-28, 26-28, 28-27, 27-27, and 28-27 to advance to the finals against his U.S. counterpart.


Ellison dominated the elimination round with commanding decisions until the semifinals. He opened up with a 5-1 decision over Iran's Keyvan Riyazimehr, followed up with a 4-2 score Baard Nesteng of Norway, and a 4-0 shutout over Rahul Banerjee of India. In the quarterfinals, Ellison cruised to to a 6-2 victory against Chu Sian Cheng of Malaysia. The 21-year-old originally from Glendale, Ariz., was tested in the semifinals and remained undefeated with a 6-5 decision over Jean-Charles Valladont of France.


Ellison's day was not over, as he had to represent Team USA in the Mixed Recurve Team elimination round, with fellow archer Jennifer Nichols (Cheyenne, Wyo.). The American duo, who was ranked first overall, will take their bows to the marina on Saturday in the championship against China. Ellison and Nichols opened up with a 148-142 victory over France and then narrowly squeaked by Poland, 145-144. In the semifinal round, Team USA defeated India during a three-round tie-breaker to advance for the championship. The U.S. and India were tied at 144, and each scored 18 in the first two rounds of the tiebreaker. In the third tie-break, Team USA won 19-17. In a tie-breaker, each member of the team shoots one arrow and the scores are added together and the first team to outscore the other advances.


Reigning World champion and 2006 World Cup champion Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho) led the U.S. compound athletes by qualifying for the bronze-medal match on Saturday, where he will face Martin Damsbo of Denmark.


Dave Cousins (Standish, Maine) advanced to the quarterfinal round as well, where he was defeated by the 2009 World Cup champion Sergio Pagni of Italy, 6-2. Pagni will shoot for the World Cup Stage 1 title on Saturday as well. Cousins recorded victories over Marcus Laube of Germany, 4-0; Sven Mestdagh of Belgium, 4-2; and Robert Abstreiter of Germany.


Braden Gellenthien (Woodbridge, Va.), the 2009 World Cup silver medalist, defeated his first two opponents in close sets that included a 5-1 decision over Rigoberto Hernandez of El Salvador and Dominique Genet of France, 4-2. In the round of 16, Gellenthien fell to Dietmar Trillus of Canada, 5-1. In this close match, both archers were on their game finding the bulls-eye numerous times and altering back the lead back and forth with Trillus advancing.


Rodger Willet Jr. (Glouchester, Va.), who was ranked sixth coming into the elimination round, ran up against sleep Sam Kyritsoglou of Belgium and lost 4-2 (59-57, 58-59, 58-56). Kyritsoglou will be shooting for the stage one title on Saturday.


Erika Anschutz (Hamilton, Ohio) lead the women's compounders on Thursday by advancing to Saturday's bronze-medal match against France's Sandrine Vandionant. Anschutz, ranked third overall, started with a 4-0 victory over hometown favorite Matea Kolarek of Croatia. In the second round, Anschutz won three matches for a 5-1 victory over Enclyeh Hajyanzaye of Iran. Anschutz recorded two more victories over Australia's Cassie McCall, 4-2, and Venezuela's Luzmary Guedez, 6-2 to advance to the semifinals. Anschutz's semifinal was extremely close against Canada's Ashley Wallace, with the Canadian coming out on 29-27, 28-28, 29-28, 28-28 for a 6-2 victory. Anschutz will face Sandrine Vandionant of France for the bronze medal on Saturday.


The three other American compound archers just fell short of quarterfinal round. Diane Watson (Hudson, Fla.) recorded victories over Diana Tontoeva of Russia; Ivana Buden of Croatia before falling to Wallace, who is shooting for the gold. Jamie Van Natta (Toledo, Ohio) started with two shut-out wins over Lithuania's Jelena Babinina and Belgium's Gladys Willems. She lost to Irina Markovic of Netherlands, 4-2 to end her run. Brittany Lorenti (Trumbull, Conn.) started with a pair of 4-0 victories over Teresa Ronco of Spain and Viktoriya Dyakova of Ukraine, before falling to Toja Cerne of Slovakia, 4-0.


Nichols, a two-time U.S. Olympian, opened the individual elimination round with a 4-0 opening round victory over Spain's Magali Foulon. She defeated Magali in two sets by the scores of 53-50 and 54-49. In the second round, Nichols was defeated 5-1, where Nichols was close in all matches.


Khatuna Lorig (West Hollywood, Calif.), a four-time Olympian for three different countries including the United States in 2008, lost to Zahara Shams of Iran, 4-2. Lorig opened the day with a 53-47 victory in the first match, but dropped the next two, 51-46 and 52-51.


For the first time in World Cup competition is the addition of Mixed Teams, which includes one male and one female in their respective bow category - recurve or compound. The compound mixed team, comprised of Wilde and Van Natta opened the day with a slim victory over Australia, 151-149. The U.S. duo outlasted Mexico in the quarterfinals, 154-150. In the semifinals, Denmark narrowly defeated Wilde and Van Natta, 153-151. In the bronze-medal match against Great Britain, Team USA rebounded with a 158-153 victory. The combined 158 shot by Wilde and Van Natta sets a new FITA World Record, the second world record that Team USA has gained this week.


Friday's competition will feature the team competition through the semifinals and bronze-medal matches in recurve and compound disciplines for both men and women. The first leg of the World Cup will conclude on Saturday, May 8 with the finals for all.


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. In Porec, the athletes will shoot the final matches over the water in the beautiful marina. 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.


In 2010, the third stage of the 2010 World Cup will be hosted in Ogden, Utah, August 3-7. This leg is being organized by the Easton Sports Development Foundation, USA Archery, Ogden Weber Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Utah Sports Commission.


Team USA will be led by USA Archery National and Head Coach Kisik Lee (San Diego); assistant coach Michael Usherenko (Oakland, N.J.); and team manager Cindy Bevilacqua (West Chester, Pa.).


For results of the 2010 Archery World Cup in Porec, Croatia, click here.


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