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DONAUESCHINGEN, Germany - The U.S. archers topped team rounds today, earning spaces in four finals this weekend. With upsets across the field, competition was intense, but Team USA came out on top, sealing Paralympic quota slots and making the cut for two gold matches.
"Things get a little bit difficult, but if you keep working at it, you can overcome it," shared armless archer Matt Stutzman (Salt Lake City, Utah) in World Archery's #ShootLikeMe series. These archers are inspiring fans around the world with top notch performances.
Stutzman, Andre Shelby (Jacksonville, Florida) and Ben Thompson (Ladson, South Carolina) led a strong compound men open team to victory. Seeded second, the trio had a bye into the quarterfinals, where they won by a 9 point margin over France and then went on to defeat the Czech Republic to shoot for gold in the finals this weekend.
Paralympic gold medalist Jeff Fabry (Lemoore, California) led fellow Paralympians Jerry Shields (Gainesville, Florida) and Chuck Lear (Lees Summit, Missouri) to a hot upset of W1 Men's No. 2 seed China in the semifinals, 200-187.
Fabry and W1 Mixed Teammate Lia Coryell (LaCrosse, Wisconsin), seeded 5th, upset No. 4 Korea in the quarterfinals with the field high score of 142 before falling to Great Britain in the semis with field low of 130. The quarterfinal win was crucial as it sealed the U.S. two spots for Rio and the duo will advance to the bronze medal final.
Eric Bennett (Surprise, Arizona) led the recurve men's team with Michael Lukow (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Timothy Palumbo (Buffalo, New York). After a 6-0 shutout win over Turkey in the quarterfinals, the U.S. archers went 3-3 with Korea, but dropped the final set 50-48 and sealed their place in the bronze final.
Kinga Kiss-Johnson (McCormick, South Carolina), Natalie Wells (Manteca, California) and recent team addition, Teresa Wallace (North Charleston, SC) had a difficult quarterfinal matchup against higher seeded Korea. The trio forced a shoot off with an impressive final set of 54 but Korea took the win to advance.
Kiss Johnson and Lukow, seeded 6th for recurve mixed teams, was upset in 1/8th by 11th seed Great Britain in a shoot off -10 over 8. The compound mixed team of Shelby and Samantha Tucker (Colorado Springs, Colorado) fell to Russia in the 1/8th.
Competition resumes tomorrow with individual elimination matches. Complete schedule and results can be found here. For updates from the field, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Photo by Al Lou.
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