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YANKTON, South Dakota - Team USA's compound juniors stole the spotlight this morning at the final day of the World Archery Indoor Championships.
Cassidy Cox shared earlier in the week that she was here to win gold both individually and as a team after missing the individual gold at the last installment of this event two years ago. Queen of the comeback, Cox went from an 11th place qualification spot early in the week to finish as the 2nd seed headed into eliminations. Pounding through elimination matches, she easily sealed her spot in the gold final.
The difference in Cox's demeanor from her fierce calm in the team round to more emotional in the individual final was clear. Struggling initially, it wasn't until the final three arrows that Cox stepped to the shooting line with the lead, after overcoming an 8 early in the match. "I just kept telling myself 'the only way you're going to get through this is to make good shots,' so I tried to focus on that instead of the scores I had shot," commented Cox. "That last end felt really good. Last time I shot this event I got silver and I really, really wanted gold. I think I expected myself to win and that made me more nervous than usual, but it paid off."
In the team round, Cox was joined by teammates Athena Caiopoulos and Anna Scarbrough. After two ends, the trio was up four points and then cruised through the match taking the win 230-225 over Canada. Cox shared: "We had so much fun out there, we shot really well. When I have my teammates to rely on, it helps me relax up there because I know they'll shoot well too."
The compound junior men's match was similarly successful. Dropping only one point in the first two ends, Curtis Broadnax, Charles Ethan King and Zac Harris took a six-point lead over Australia. Clinching the win 233-228, Zac commented on behalf of the team: "We worked really hard this year in preparation for this tournament. This really validates all the effort we put in to getting ready to shoot on this stage. I was pretty relaxed up there, not too shaky and it helped to have such strong teammates and my coach behind me. We were able to talk between ends and good communication helped us succeed."
Almost immediately afterward, King returned to the stage to shoot for bronze in a rematch against Australia's Remy Leonard. Leonard proved to be a tough opponent, not dropping a point until the third set. The door never opened wide enough for King to stage a comeback, despite picking up a point in the final end and Leonard clinched the win 146-144.
Broadnax then returned to the stage to shoot for gold against Denmark's Simon Olsen. Broadnax's shots were not breaking with the same rhythm and timing as they did in the team match, but he and Olsen matched score for score through every single one of the five ends of the match. In the shoot off tiebreaker, both scored 9s, but Olsen's was deemed closer to the center and Broadnax finished with silver.
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