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YANKTON, South Dakota - The 2018 World Archery Indoor Championships wrapped this afternoon as the Team USA compound squads finished sweeping gold in all team events with senior men and women's world champion titles.
For the senior compound women, archery legend Mary Hamm, the first woman to score a Vegas 900 and a 1400 in target competition returned to the world stage, excited to get back to her favorite aspect of the sport: competing. The sport has evolved in the recent years since Hamm's last time in medal shoot downs, but her level of talent has not slipped as competition has grown.
On her first time shooting in the big finals venue, Hamm commented: "It was awesome, it was an intense mix of emotions and while I stayed calm and collected and my thoughts didn't get away from me, your heart rate goes up, you get excited to be here. But, I like getting nervous, I think it helps you pay attention to what you're doing."
Hamm's teammates were Breanna Theodore, 2015 outdoor world youth team champion, and Paige Pearce Gore. Gore has an impressive archery resume with more outdoor world youth titles to her name than anyone else in history, but this year was her breakout indoor season. With impressive finishes on the world cup circuit, eyes have been on Gore this week.
Battling severe food poisoning, Gore made it to the venue in time to shoot today and pulled out strong shots to take the win: "I'm not going to lie, I was a little nervous come last night with not feeling well. It's an interesting feeling when you go out there, it kind of takes over you so as soon as I got out there I was like 'okay, I'm going to go shoot my arrows and do my thing and then go feel badly as soon as I'm done.'
On today's competition, she added: "This is my first indoor worlds, my first indoor team round, so I was really excited to be a part of that. Obviously, you do get nervous, but for me it was more anxious, which is easier to channel to make your shots break cleaner than nerves, and that's just taken time over the years to work through. I think our team dynamic was really good, everyone worked well together. If anyone had a weak end, the others picked up. I obviously wished for better in the individual, so having this opportunity as a team means so much to me."
The compound men's team of Jesse Broadwater, Tate Morgan and Kris Schaff took the top three seeds in individual competition to solidly lock up the top team seed. While expectations to win were high, Italy was a formidable opponent. Team USA opened with a 60, but the two teams were tied at the half. USA picked up one point and held their lead, finishing with a 235-234 win.
A short while later, Broadwater and Schaff returned to the stage to compete for bronze in a heated and high scoring match. Broadwater took the win with a clean 150 to Schaff's 148. Broadwater commented: "It was good, the team round was a good practice for the individual final. My shot timing hasn't felt right all day today since I started practicing. I shot the same release in the team round as what I was shooting in practice, but then I actually went back over to practice between the team rounds and individual match and it was going the same way, so I reached into my magical pouch and pulled out another release and ended up practicing with that and shooting with it for the match."
He continued: "I don't know what it was, but maybe it was set a little bit different and that made me think a little bit more about what I was doing, so I still don't feel like I shot well, but I'm happy with the score. It always stinks shooting against a teammate, I wish it had been me and Kris in the gold match."
Team USA's final medal tally for the weekend included all four compound team golds, this morning's gold win for junior Cassidy Cox, silver for Curtis Broadnax, Broadwater's bronze and bronze for the recurve junior men's team. Complete results are available at www.worldarchery.org. For more, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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