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MEDELLIN, Colombia - The fourth and final stage of the 2015 Archery World Cup determines who punch tickets to the circuit final in Mexico City this fall. With over 200 athletes competing from 38 countries, the U.S. archers will have a tough battle.
Seven of the top 10 recurve men in the World Cup rankings hail from Korea or USA. Since there's the two-athlete cap on each team for the Archery World Cup Final, those in 10th to 20th all have a real shot at qualifying.
Zach Garrett, who is currently sitting on top of the rankings for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team and just picked up a silver medal at the last World Cup stage in Poland, would have to beat out teammate Collin Klimitchek to make the top 7 as he and Brady Ellison are currently leading with 31 and 24 points respectively.
Klimitchek is eager to hold onto his spot and qualified 5th with 675. Garrett will have a lot to pick up in eliminations, finishing 25th, just behind teammate Daniel McLaughlin, 24th with 659 and 658 points.
Ellison, the world's only 3-time World Cup Final winner, is looking hot for Mexico City, qualifying 16th with 665.
Reigning Archery World Cup Final Champion Bridger Deaton is looking to defend his compound men's crown in Mexico. To make it possible, Bridger needs to take over teammate Steve Anderson, who's 17 points ahead - a tall order. Reo Wilde is the top-ranked U.S. archer in the division, and he's all but out of reach.
Deaton commented: "I really want to make it back for a second year, but I haven't shot anywhere close to my potential this year. If I make it great, but if I don't, I hope I can perform well in this tournament."
Wilde and Anderson will not make that an easy feat - qualifying 2nd and 3rd, Honey Badger and Big Cat are looking strong for podium finishes. Gellenthien made the top 8, finishing 7th with 701 while Deaton is 14th with 697.
Mackenzie Brown and Khatuna Lorig are in good standing to make the Final - and both are holding on tight to their rankings. Brown, who nailed her first World Cup Gold in Poland, along with Lorig who shot with Brown to win the U.S.'s first World Cup Stage team gold, qualified 8th and 22nd respectively with 657 and 643.
Ariel Gibilaro and Anna Miscione qualified 28th and 47th.
Crystal Gauvin, sitting in 5th in the rankings for Mexico City, will need a strong performance this weekend to keep her ticket to the Final. Super impressive performances from her teammates - Lexi Keller, Paige Pearce and Danielle Reynolds all made the top 5: Keller took 2nd with 696, Pearce 3rd with 690, and Reynolds 5th with 689. Gauvin took 11th with 683 and the four will be tough to beat come eliminations later this week.
Competition continues this afternoon with mixed team eliminations through the semifinals and individual eliminations tomorrow. Follow as U.S. looks to medal in Medellin this week with live stream and live scores here. For more, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Some information attributed to World Archery Communications.
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