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LAUSANNE, Switzerland - The inaugural and 2018 World Archery Masters Championships continued today with USA archers adding to an impressive medal tally from day one. The competition at the World Archery Excellence Centre features categories for archers ages 40+, 50+, 60+ and 70+ in the recurve, compound, barebow, longbow and instinctive bow classes, where archers have the chance to compete in indoor, outdoor target and field archery.
Official world champion titles are being awarded only in the indoor compound and recurve 50+, the outdoor target compound and recurve 50+ and the field barebow, recurve and compound 50+ divisions; the remaining categories will also compete for prestigious honors. Divisions have been split into groups and are rotating through the competition opportunities. Today's championship categories were the compound outdoor target, recurve women outdoor target, recurve men indoor and barebow field.
The outdoor target competition is truly a test of strength, mental game and talent as competition spreads over nearly 12 hours from official practice, to 72 arrows of qualification, directly into elimination matches. A feat that is often spread over multiple days posed a big challenge for the world's most competitive masters athletes.
Yesterday, Laura Bennett Shelton became not only the USA's first, but the world's first World Archery Masters Champion winning gold in a tight race in the indoor competition. Immediately picking back up with the outdoor competition today, Bennett Shelton qualified 4th with a 635. Indoor bronze medalist, Tatyana Muntyan qualified 2nd with 643 and Alison Eaton was 7th with 611. The three breezed through the 1/16th round, but Muntyan and Eaton were stopped in the 1/8th in close matches that came down to final arrows. Bennett Shelton continued, taking a 6-2 win in the quarterfinals, and a 7-3 semifinal win over top seed Nathalie Dielen of Switzerland. In the gold final against Germany's Petra Nussgens-Patz, Bennett Shelton smoked a 6-0 shut out to take her second World Archery Masters Championship title!
Bennett Shelton commented to World Archery that she had high expectations for the indoor event, but did not expect to do as well outdoors. "There are women from all round Europe that I've never met before that can come and kill it indoors. I didn't come here going 'this is it, I've really got a chance'. But I knew if I was going to do something it would be indoors and not outdoors," commented Bennett Shelton. "I have a very long, very careful shot, which is why I think I'm better indoor than outdoors, because a long shot will bite you in the ass outdoors if the wind changes."
In the championship competitions for compound outdoor target, USA's Richard Smith and Rebecca Burks, who both won bronze in field yesterday, opened qualification taking the top poles with high scores of 698 and 678. Scott Wilson and Debra Ochs also both qualified in the top 10, ranking 6th and 10th respectively with 675 and 662.
Smith took easy wins through the quarterfinals, but was upset 142-144 in the semifinals by South Africa's De Klerk. A 143-141 decision in the bronze final gave Smith his second podium finish in two days.
Ochs picked it up and upset 3rd seed Viljoen of South Africa in the quarterfinals 139-133 before falling 137-131 in the semifinals and drawing Burks in the bronze medal match. Burks had consistently posted the highest scores on the field in match play all afternoon, until a 138-139 loss to Australia's Gale in the semifinals. Burks then took the 140-127 bronze victory over Ochs.
In the recurve 40+ brackets, 6th seed Amy Skogen upset Switzerland's 3rd seed Attanasio 6-2 in the quarterfinal before falling 6-0 to Japan's Mitsuyama. A 7-3 loss in the bronze final against Iceland's Quinn squeezed Skogen off the podium for a 4th place finish. 9th seed Barry Watson fell 6-2 in the first round along with 5th seed on the women's field, Jennifer Schneider. 9th seed Carrie Lin won a first round upset over Great Britain's Milsom, but Lin was eliminated 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
Following his gold win in yesterday's 50+ barebow men's target competition, Rick Stonebraker picked up silver in the field championship competition today, earning USA's first World Archery Masters Championship silver medal. An extra challenge with unmarked targets, Stonebraker's record of strong barebow shooting prevailed, putting him in 2nd with a 296, while USA's William Hammac finished 9th with 267.
USA's Daniel Stafford repeated his gold win in the longbow 40+ men with a 156 and Richard Doria Jr. finished with silver again for the longbow 60+ men with a 170. In the barebow 60+ bracket, Joseph Margol finished 4th with a 154.
The indoor competition is unique; archers compete with 60 arrows at 25 meters, followed by 60 arrows at 18 meters and winners are named based on cumulative score totals. In the championship division, Thomas Stevenson Jr. was USA's highest finisher, ranking 5th with an 1113.
Other top ten U.S. indoor finishes include yesterday's target gold medalist Angie Olds, Cecilia Ross and Olga Usherenko, who finished 3rd, 5th and 7th in the recurve 60+ with 992, 949 and 931 respectively. Suzanne Phillips and Carol McHarg also finished with silver and bronze in the 70+ group with 902 and 795.
For the compound 40+ indoors, target silver medalists Charles Puls and Brandi Granett came away with another 2nd place finish each while Avram Granett and Shawn Wood finished 5th for the men and 4th for the women.
Complete results from the competition are available at www.worldarchery.org. Competition resumes Saturday with championship categories featuring the recurve field and compound indoor. Follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more from the event.
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