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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - USA captured the compound men's team gold and women's team bronze at World Cup Salt Lake this morning.
The winds continued to create challenges and blow arrows across the board. The U.S. compound women's squad was the first to take the field against Russia. "It was hard because we were the first ones out and the first ones up so we couldn't go watch a match before or have any idea of what was going on with the wind," commented Christie Colin. "We just had questions marks and had to communicate really well. But, we've been fighting the wind all week so we were in good shape."
Teammate Lexi Keller agreed: "It was really nice to go out there and have a lot of confidence in each other as a team, knowing that we had shot all week together in the wind and just knowing we had to go out there and shoot as confident and strong shots as we could and we ended up being able to do it."
Keller, Colin and Jamie Van Natta took an early lead when Russia missed an arrow in the first end. Holding strong, the trio finished with an 18-point win 220-202 in the difficult winds. Colin commented: "I haven't been to a world cup in a couple of years so it was nice to come play on a strong team and take home a medal."
When Reo Wilde, Steve Anderson and Kris Schaff took the field for the compound men's gold final, the team walked out confidently. Anderson had shared that there was great expectation for the team to win, and despite the winds, they put incredible arrows down range. Opening with a 59 to Mexico's 54, USA never looked back. The team scored two perfect 30s, including one of 3 Xs in the final end to clinch the win 231-216.
"Before we walked out there in the wind, people were worried about missing the target, including guys on our team," commented Wilde. "So it was kind of funny, it was like 'well we all know the wind and we can't make any big mistakes,' so it was cool to go out and shoot like we did in the wind. My mindset is just to make good shots, wherever they go, I need to let my equipment do its work. I put a lot of time and effort into it so when I get there, it should be able to help me get through anything."
Schaff and Van Natta returned to the field for the mixed team bronze final to open the afternoon session. After four arrows, the U.S. duo was up 37-36. But several errant arrows opened the door for India and they were up four by the final end. Two 8s for India put the match at a draw, but as the winds continued to threaten, a 6 and 7 put the U.S. at a disadvantage and ended the match.
To wrap the U.S.'s compound performance on the big stage, Braden Gellenthien took on some of the largest gusts of wind of the day. Laughing between shots, Gellenthien's bow swayed back and forth while at full draw and was near impossible to aim. Russia's Bulaev took an early lead and never looked back, ultimately taking the win by a 5-point margin.
Tomorrow will host the exciting head to head recurve finals matches and a huge Archery Festival for spectators. Attendees will have the opportunity to try their hand at archery, play games, win prizes, taste local flavor at on-site food trucks and more!
Tickets are now available athttp://archeryworldcupsaltlake.org. Tickets are $10 pp/session, and children ages 8 and under enter free. For fans watching from home, the finals will be streamed live on the Olympic Channel.
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