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July 27, 2023

Alyssa Sturgill leading the way for the USA at the World University Games

CHENGDU, China – The World University Games are underway in China after a delay of two years due to COVID-19 and Alyssa Sturgill is making up for lost time as she won through to the semifinals of the compound women on day two of competition.

The University of Pikeville student, who switched from basketball to archery at the age of 13, will tackle Jiayu Zhou of China on Monday, the last day of the archery event, for a place in the gold medal match.

Sturgill had total scores of 144, 145, 145 in the three wins which took her to the last four in Chengdu, starting against Purvasha Shende (IND) in the 1/16 round. That set up an all-American 1/8 round clash, with Sturgill beating Sachiko Keane 145-144.

Double majoring in criminal justice and business, the 20-year-old from Wise, VA set up her last four contest thanks to a 145-139 victory over Zhou’s compatriot Shujia Ma.

Earlier, Keane had won through her 1/16 round against Batdulam Battsetseg of Mongolia, while Alyssa Tenney edged Seungyeon Han of Korea. Tenney then lost to another Korean, Sooin Sim in the last 16. Sim lost to Zhou in the quarterfinals.

In the compound men’s event, Ellisei Miller was beaten in the 1/16 round by Hong Shen Lim from Singapore.

Sturgill was also involved in the compound women's competition, alongside Keane and Tenney. They enjoyed a convincing win over Mongolia in their 1/8 match on Friday morning, defeating the East Asian nation 221-193. That pushed them into a last eight match against India. A semifinalist in the individual competition, there was to be no repeat in the team event for Sturgill as the USA were denied a last four spot, as India triumphed 231-222.

On day one of the archery competition, on Thursday, the recurve women’s team of Judith Gottlieb, Katherine Wu and Natalie Howell narrowly lost their 1/8 round match 5-4 to Poland.

Competition continues on Saturday with recurve elimination matches. Wu meets Jia Xin Tang of Singapore in the 1/24 round. At the same time, Howell faces Imogen Grzemski (AUS) and Gottlieb takes on Malaysia’s Nuramalia Mazlan.

Chris Austin is the sole representative for the USA in the recurve men’s event. He is also facing elimination matches on Saturday. His first opponent is Reza Shabani (IRI).

The recurve mixed team event begins on Saturday afternoon. The USA pair of Gottlieb and Austin go up against the Australian team of Grzemski and Markus Kuhrau.

That is followed by the compound mixed team. The USA duo, of Keane and Miller, start their medal push against Malaysia.

The largest global multi-sports event for student-athletes, the World University Games is being staged over 13 days, from July 27-August 8, involving more than 10,000 student-athletes and officials from over 150 countries and regions.

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