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NIMES, France - The Indoor World Cup concluded today in Nimes with exciting head to head finals matches. Set on an impressive stage with dramatic lightning, a large crowd, and high pressure, competition was intense and USA archers will come home with a gold, a silver and a bronze finish, and two junior podium finishes.
The compound men's bracket was incredibly tight throughout the entire competition. With a mere 9 points separating the top 32 in the cuts to eliminations, match wins were fair game across the board - and archers ranked 1st, 10th, 21st and 27th competed in the medal matches today. No. 10, Kris Schaff (Billings, Montana) took on No 1. Mike Schloesser of the Netherlands for gold. Throughout yesterday's four matches, Schloesser never scored lower than a 149, and Schaff had two 150s himself and a 149.
Both opened with 29s over the first two ends, but in the third end, Schaff put up a perfect 30 to Schloesser's 28. Then the two continued to match arrow for arrow over the final six for Schaff to retain the lead and clinch the gold victory 147-145.
In the bronze final, Paul Tedford (Great Falls, Montana) faced Turkey's Demir Elmaagacli. Clean over the first three ends, Tedford had an early lead 90-89. Refusing to open the door for a comeback, Tedford only dropped one point over the final six arrows as Elmaagacli posted consecutive 29s. Tedford won the bronze in a decisive 149-147 win.
On the recurve side, 3rd seed Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona) posted lights out scores to climb to the gold final. From the 1/8th round, Ellison only dropped only two 9s over 14 straight sets, with 12 sets of perfect 30s. An equally strong competitor throughout the day, 16th seed Steve Wijler of the Netherlands also earned a shot at gold. The two opened with 28s, adjusted and Ellison countered with a 30 to Wijler's 28, taking the lead 3-1. While Wijler came back with three perfect 30s over the next three sets, Ellison posted only one, and ultimately the score went in Wijler's favor 6-4, leaving Ellison with silver.
In the junior competition, compound archers Connor Sears (Bowie, Texas), Carson Sapp (Cairo, Georgia) and Blaze Ruffing (Hubertus, Wisconsin) had the bracket on lock down, holding solidly to first, second and third. The three posted strong match scores throughout eliminations, but 5th seed Stas Modic of Slovenia also came through to take on top seed Sears in the semifinals. After taking that win 149-148, today he took on Sapp for the gold. Taking an early lead 59-57 after six arrows, Modic continued to finish strong and increase his lead. While Sapp finished with a perfect 30, picking up a point, he finished 147-144 with silver.
In the bronze final, Sears and Ruffing went head to head with Ruffing up 28-27 after the first end. Sears brought the score back to a tie, but Ruffing fought to take the lead again in the third end, 86-85. Over the final two ends though, Ruffing scored two 28s to Sears' 30s and the match ended 145-142 in Sears' favor, giving him the bronze finish.
Sadie Tesch (Rapid City, South Dakota) qualified third for the compound junior women and shot through all matches yesterday to earn a shot at bronze early this morning. The match went back and forth with opponent Sunniva Lislevand taking a one-point lead in the first end. Tesch swung the lead in her favor by a point over the next three arrows, and then Lislevand came back strong and continued to increase the gap between herself and Tesch, taking the win 142-140.
The Indoor World Cup Series continues next month with the fourth and final stages in Las Vegas, Nevada. Complete results can be found atwww.worldarchery.org. For more, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Photo: World Archery.
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