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July 18, 2023

Compound trio with strong start at Para World Champs in Czech Republic

PILSEN, Czech Republic – Day one of competition at the World Archery Para Championships produced three top 20 places for USA archers in the compound men open division.

Kevin Polish was the best of the bunch, scoring 700 to emerge as the sixth seed. Defending world champion Matt Stutzman and teammate Andre Shelby both shot 685 to place 15th and 16th respectively.

The number one seed was claimed by China’s Xinliang Ai with a new world record of 709. He beat the previous world’s best of 707, set by Alberto Simonelli (ITA) in 2019.

Stutzman and Shelby receive a bye through to the round of 24. Polish heads straight to the round of 16. Elimination matches take place on Thursday. Stutzman starts against Abdulvakhkhab Kyrgizboev (UZB), with Shelby meeting Mark De Gier (NED).

The duo of Polish and Stutzman will be seeded two in the compound men open doubles. They tackle Brazil or Thailand in the round of eight when they begin eliminations on Friday.

Karen Sternfeld and Candice Caesar will continue their push in the recurve women open on Thursday after Tuesday’s qualification. Caesar will tackle Yang Wu of China in the round of 16. Sternfeld, who came through a round of 24 contest to beat Azada Abdullayeva (AZE) 6-2, next meets top seed Elisabetta Mijno (ITA).

Allison Brown fell short in her recurve women open round of 24 match, as did Teresa Wallace and Wendy Gardner at the same stage of the compound women open. Tracy Otto - proudly representing the USA at her first international event - lost out to Asia Pellizarri of Italy in the first elimination round of the women W1 open. 

The World Archery Para Championships is the most significant of all the qualifying events for next year’s Paralympic Games in Paris, with 78 of the 140 total spots up for grabs.

Day two in Pilsen will see qualification in the W1 men and recurve men open categories.

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