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BEIJING, China - On the last day of the World Archery Para Championships, the U.S. athletes upped their medal count to five along with Jeff Fabry's world champion title from yesterday.
Earlier in the week, Ben Thompson (Ladsden, South Carolina) won bronze for the compound open men's individual event and competed today for the team bronze with Paralympic Champion Andre Shelby (Jacksonville, Florida) and Lance Thornton (Scotts City, Missouri).
Shooting head to head with Russia, both teams opened with 29s and then in the next three arrows, Russia picked up one more 10 to the USA's 9 to take a one point advantage 57-58. The two teams matched again with 29s in the first three shots of the second end, but this time, the U.S. picked up a point in the following three arrows to bring the score to a 114-all tie. The U.S. team picked up another two points in the third end to take a 171-169 edge heading into the final six arrows. Russia opened the door wide with a 7 and the USA walked through, clinching the bronze win 228-223.
Later in the day, Shelby had a shot at gold and the world champion title individually. After an incredible semifinal win over Italy's Alberto Simonelli earlier this week, Shelby commented: "I feel really good. I talked to someone before about how I would probably have to face Simonelli again and then I did in the semifinals." A rematch of the gold final from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Shelby came out on top once again. He added: "[Simonelli] is a true competitor and I feel really good, I know I shot well today. You really get that second wind when you are out here. Now I'm going to try to stay calm and keep doing the same things, focus on my shot and whatever happens, happens."
Shooting against China's Xinliang Ai, Shelby opened with a 28 to Ai's 29. To the delight of the home crowd, Ai increased his lead to 59-56 in the second end with a perfect 30. In the next two ends, Shelby climbed back, bringing the score to 113-112 in Ai's favor. With the first arrow of the fifth and final end, Shelby opened with a strong X and Ai loosed a 9, so the score was tied. Both archers scored 10s and with just one arrow to go, Shelby shot a 9 and Ai capitalized with a 10 for the win, 142-141.
In an impressive showing, the U.S. team returns home with Jeff Fabry's gold and world champion title for the W1 men's event, a recurve open men's team silver, compound open men's team silver, and the compound open men's individual silver and bronze. Complete results from the competition can be found at www.worldarchery.org. For more, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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