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SHANGHAI, China - The 2018 World Cup series opener spread qualification over two days, with compound archers shooting first their 72-arrow ranking round, followed by early individual, team and mixed team elimination matches before recurve did the same the next day. With a history of dominance in this venue, the USA compound shooters continued to score high despite challenging rain and tough competition. A beautiful day for the recurve competition provided great conditions and tough international competition posed the biggest threat.
Jamie Van Natta had a standout performance, qualifying second for the compound women after being first for almost the entire ranking round. Finishing with an exact 700, Van Natta commented to World Archery: "I'm delighted. I focused today on how much fun I have doing this. I really love shooting. For me, this is the perfect day: cloud, little bit of rain, little bit of wind. I like it because it makes you pay attention."
Together with teammates Paige Pearce Gore and Danielle Reynolds who qualified 18th and 34th respectively, the team ranked 4th while Lexi Keller qualified 35th with a tied score to Reynolds.
Van Natta will also team up with Braden Gellenthien, the leading U.S. compound scorer, who qualified 4th with a 708 for the mixed team event in a chance at redemption for their early exit at the 2015 World Archery Championships. Kris Schaff also made it safely into the top 8, who are pre-seeded into the 1/16th elimination round, ranking 7th with a 706. Just behind with 704 was Reo Wilde, qualifying 9th and putting the team in the 2nd qualification spot behind Korea. Steve Anderson was 12th with a 703.
While the compound men breezed through early elimination matches, Gore, Reynolds and Keller were all stopped short in the 1/24th round.
Brady Ellison was the standout USA recurve performance in qualification, ranking 3rd with a 676. In his first outdoor world cup debut, 18-year old Jack Williams qualified 54th, and with Matt Requa in 68th, the trio ranked 8th as a team. Tom Stanwood ranked 87th to round out the U.S. team.
On the recurve women's side, Khatuna Lorig led the U.S. archers with a 632 to rank 43rd. Mackenzie Brown was 49th with a 628 and Erin Mickelberry was just a few points behind, ranking 63rd for a team qualification rank of 19th. LaNola Shepherd came in 71st.
Lorig and Ellison will join forces for the mixed team event and together, they qualified 11th.
In early matches, Lorig, Mickelberry, Shepherd and Stanwood went out in the 1/48th, while Requa had a strong 6-0 upset over Kazakhstan's Saidiyev. Requa continued, taking a 6-2 victory to earn a spot in the 1/16th with Ellison, while teammate Williams took his second-round match to a 5-5 tie and one arrow shoot off, but the Netherlands' Steve Wijler was declared the winner. Brown was also stopped in the second-round in a 6-0 shutout by Japan's Kawanaka.
The recurve women did not end their run there, however. They took a strong lead in the 1/12th team elimination match, up 4-0 with impressive cumulative scores. When the match went 4-4 and to a shoot off, USA upset 14th seed Georgia to advance. Lorig and Ellison also took a shoot off win to advance in the mixed team competition after coming to a draw with Thailand. Two perfect 10s sealed their fate.
Competition resumes tomorrow with individual and team elimination matches through the semifinals. Complete results can be found at www.worldarchery.org. For photos and more from the event, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This weekend, the finals will be streamed live for U.S. viewers on theOlympic Channel.
Photo: World Archery
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