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ANTALYA, Turkey - Compound finals day at the third leg of the Hyundai Archery World Cup saw the U.S. men's team take silver and individual silver and bronze for Steve Anderson (Bountiful, Utah) and Braden Gellenthien (Hudson, Massachusetts).
Standing on the line with a 134-135 score on the board and one arrow to go, two of the most experienced archers in the circuit, Gellenthien and Italy's Sergio Pagni were head to head with the bronze medal just a shot away. Gellenthien was down two after the first six arrows, but came back to a tie and then took a one-point lead headed into the last end. Pagni, down, shot first; ten. The pressure was on, Gellenthien needed a 10 to win, a 9 to force a shoot off. He loosed a ten, solidly in the middle ring for the bronze victory.
On the path to the gold final, Anderson, who was ranked second, faced two of his U.S. teammates and just consistently posted incredibly high scores to continue advancing. He shared on social media: "Shooting for individual and team gold in Antalya! 150-148-149-148 through my four matches," indicating his near perfect scores, "with some of my best X counts along the way. The Prevail pounds. The boys in Red, White and Blue did good work today, unfortunately we were all on the same side of the bracket. Reo, Braden and I shot awesome all day, and I honestly feel like we were the best three on the field. Brackets never seem to shake out the way they should, but that's part of the game."
In the gold final with Taipei's Hsiang-Hsuan Chen, the scores started a bit lower than the previous day; both opened with 28s. Chen followed that with a perfect 30 while Anderson posted a 27 with an arrow in the 8 ring. Taking the gap down to two points in the next three arrows, Anderson drilled a 29 to Chen's 28. As the two split the next end with 29s, Anderson opened the final three arrows with a 9. He came back with an X as Chen nailed two in the X and then Chen clinched the win as both scored 9s for a final tally of 144-141.
The men's team of Anderson, Gellenthien and Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho) faced Denmark for the gold earlier in the day. The two teams have faced each other many times in recent competitions and have begun a friendly rivalry, so there was much excitement headed into the match. Denmark had a single point lead after the first end, but after joking in between rounds, the U.S. men came back strong with a 59 to turn the tides and take the lead to their side. After a 57 for the U.S. and a 58 for Denmark, the teams entered the final six arrows in a stalemate, but Denmark's 59 bested the U.S.'s 56 to take the gold win.
Competition resumes tomorrow with recurve finals where Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona) will be shooting for individual gold and mixed team bronze with young teammate Anna Miscione (Ramona, California). Tune in live on the NBC Sports app or at www.nbcsports.com/live. Complete results from today's competition can be found here. For more, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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