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TORONTO, Canada - The US Pan American Games team sported two world class veteran archers: five-time Olympian and Olympic bronze medalist Khatuna Lorig (West Hollywood, California), and Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona), a two time Olympian who boasts an Olympic silver medal and an unprecedented three World Cup Final titles.
Each leading a team of two younger, newer archers to the international scene, Ellison and Lorig proved the value of their combined experience. After a men's team silver and women's team bronze yesterday, Lorig, Ellison and 20-year old Zach Garrett (Wellington, Missouri) entered the finals venue early this morning for semifinal matches.
Lorig and 2012 Olympic silver-medalist Aida Roman of Mexico battled back and forth all the way to a shoot off. Both archers shot 9s but Lorig's was closer to the center and she advanced to shoot for gold. Lorig dominated the match against Colombia's Ana Maria Rendon, nabbing a strong 6-2 win and the Pan American Games Champion title.
Garrett, in his rookie Pan American Games, set a new qualification record, nabbed the first place seed, and shot strong through team rounds. In his semifinal match against Mexican Olympian Luis Alvarez, Garrett posted consistent scores but fell short, conceding the match 7-3.
Alvarez then advanced to shoot for gold against Ellison. The archer from Mexico opened with two very high scoring sets, but comeback king Ellison was not deterred. In the third set Ellison managed a perfect 10-10-10. He tied things back up in the fourth set as Alvarez failed to get one of his arrows off in time. In the final set Alvarez came back with a 29 leaving Ellison with his second silver medal of this year's Games.
Dark horse of the men's field was Canadian Olympian, Jay Lyon. Lyon, on home turf in Toronto, climbed his way from a 15th place seed in qualification all the way up the brackets to the bronze match against Garrett. With every arrow of the match in the gold, Lyon took a 6-0 win for bronze.
National Head Coach KiSik Lee was very pleased with the team's overall performance at this event. "I'm very pleased to see Khatuna's winning performance. It's been a long time since she won such a big event. This can really boost our women's team performance.
"For the men they showed up a good performance and set a Pan Am record, which will give us confidence going into World Championships. Now we just need to focus on preparing for the World Championships."
With the World Archery Championships in Denmark less than two weeks away, the event, which is also an Olympic Games Qualifier, will be the main focus of this winning team. Complete results from today can be found here. For more updates from the field, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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