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Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - The music of archery - the thump of arrows hitting bales, the clicking of clickers and release aids - echoed today through the exhibit halls at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Archers from thirty six countries have arrived in Sin City to try their luck at this game of precision, and today's official practice saw many of the world's superstars preparing to shoot for World Championship titles.
Several countries have fielded what many will regard as strong teams for this World Archery event, co-hosted by USA Archery and the National Field Archery Association, which begins tomorrow with qualification rounds and continues through the week with team and individual eliminations, culminating in the finals on Thursday, which will be broadcast live at http://www.archery.tv. Many teams are also expected to remain for the third stage of the Indoor Archery World Cup and Vegas Shoot, which will run February 10-12.
Though all visitors to Las Vegas know that there is no such thing as a sure bet, those watching this event will be looking for a showdown in each category. Compound stars such as Erika Anschutz (USA/OH), Albina Loginova (RUS), Laura Longo (ITA), Christie Colin (USA/PA) and Marcela Tonioli will help keep fans on the edges of their seats, as will Reo Wilde (USA/ID), Sergio Pagni (ITA), Dietmar Trillus (CAN), Martin Damsbo (DEN), Julien Deloche (FRA) and Braden Gellenthien (USA) on the men's side.
A potential showdown of Olympians could occur on the recurve side, with USA's Brady Ellison looking for gold; he will first have to stop a formidable list of opponents, including 2008 Olympic gold medalist Viktor Ruban (UKR) and his teammate Dmytro Hrachov; Juan Rene Serrano (MEX), Marco Galiazzo and Michele Frangilli (ITA), and USA's Victor Wunderle, all of whom are sure to present a challenge. Look for hot competition between Natalia Valeeva (ITA), Jennifer Nichols (USA), Alejandra Valencia (MEX), the young Miranda Leek (USA), and Nimes winner Lisa Unruh (GER) for the women.
Many of the world's best junior archers are also in attendance, and predictions are that the world could see new rising archery stars from this World Archery Indoor Championships. USA Archery's coverage will continue daily throughout the week, with photo galleries on this website each day, as well as news from the event on this website and on Twitter.
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