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WROCLAW, Poland - In qualifications yesterday, the U.S. archers nabbed six of ten possible top seed slots and eight archers pre-seeded into the 1/16th matches today. World Archery called it: "One of team USA's best competition days in recent memory." The winning streak continued as four U.S. archers made it through to medal matches today as crazy upsets shook the brackets and led to some surprising results.
Collin Klimitchek (Victoria, Texas), Sean McLaughlin (West Chester, Ohio), and Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona) swept the top three seeds for recurve men while teammate Zach Garrett (Wellington, Missouri) ranked eighth. In Klimitchek's first match, he was quickly upset 6-2. Ellison fell in a shoot off in the 1/8th elimination, and in the quarterfinals McLaughlin and Garrett were forced to shoot head-to-head.
Garrett took a swift 6-0 shut out win to advance to the semifinals where he faced two-time Olympian Mauro Nespoli of Italy. The two went back and forth taking alternating sets for a 4-4 tie. Then with a 29, Garrett took the win to shoot for gold.
Mackenzie Brown (Flint, Texas) was the USA's top ranked female recurve archer, seeded 5th. Brown raced through her matches, winning 6-0, 6-2 and 6-2 in the 1/8th through the quarterfinals. In her semifinal against Kristine Esebua of Georgia, Brown had a harder time taking the win - but she pulled out a solid 28 in the last three arrows for the 6-4 win to earn her place in the gold medal final.
Steve Anderson (Salt Lake City, Utah) was the lowest seeded U.S. compound male archer as the only one not to finish in the top 8, but turned things around today making his way into the bronze medal final after upsetting Italy's Sergio Pagni in the 1/8th 147-146.
15th seed Demir Elmaagacli of Turkey shockingly upset World Champion Stephan Hansen of Denmark in the 1/8th as well before falling to Anderson by 6 points in the quarterfinals - giving him a great opening to the medal matches.
Upsets in that bracket however were not all so helpful for the U.S. archers. Number 1 seed Braden Gellenthien (Hudson, Massachusetts) was upset in the quarterfinals 147-149 by Martin Damsbo of Denmark. Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho) was upset in the 1/8th in a one-arrow shoot off with India's Abishek Verma who later beat Anderson to shoot for gold. Number 3 seed Bridger Deaton (Pella, Iowa) was upset even earlier in the 1/16th.
Crystal Gauvin (Dayville, Connecticut) finished 10th yesterday but knew she could shoot even better. Today she proved that, upsetting Sarah Holst Sonnichsen in the 1/8th and then taking her quarterfinal match with a 7-point margin. Her scores dipped again in the semifinals against Usquiano of Colombia, but she will still get to shoot for bronze.
The rest of the U.S. women did not fare as well. For the recurve archers, LaNola Pritchard (Lehi, Utah), ranked 24th broke her way into the top 16, knocking out 9th seed Bombayla Devi Laishram of India and forcing a one-arrow shoot off with Esebua. Both archers shot 9s but Esebua's was closer to the center. Michelle Gilbert (Bethesda, Maryland) and Khatuna Lorig (West Hollywood, California) were knocked out early in the 1/16th.
In compound, Lexi Keller (Omro, Wisconsin), seeded 11th was upset in a 1/16th round shoot off, while teammate Angela Bradley (Herald, California) fell 135-141. Easter Brock (Sandy, Utah) lost in her first match.
Competition resumes tomorrow with team elimination matches. Complete schedule and results can be found here. For updates from the field, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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