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March 04, 2024

Polish and Gardner going for mixed team gold at the para world ranking tournament in Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Day two of the 8th Fazza Para Archery World Ranking Tournament saw Wendy Gardner and KJ Polish battle through three rounds of the compound mixed team event to reach the gold medal match, which will be on Thursday against Turkey.

The USA pairing, seeded sixth, entered at the 1/8 elimination round, and began with a 145-137 defeat of Chinese Taipei. Third seed Brazil were next and this one was a much closer affair, with Gardner and Polish squeezing through 147-146. They improved on their score in the semifinal contest against Korea, winning 148-141. Turkey’s path to the gold medal match included a 148-145 win over top seed India in the semifinal.

The recurve mixed team pairing of Eric Bennett and Karen Sternfeld defeated Kazakhstan in the 1/16 round before falling to Japan, who will compete in the gold medal match against Italy on Thursday.

This event, which runs from March 2-7, marks the final opportunity for USA athletes to secure quota slots for the Paralympic Games. To date, the USA has acquired five quota slots. They have the maximum two slots in both the recurve men open and compound men open, as well as one slot in the W1 women.

Of the remaining slots available, the USA has archers pushing for places in the recurve women open, compound women open and W1 men. In Dubai, there is one quota slot available per division.

Individual competition resumes on Tuesday, starting with the compound men open division. Richard Burkett faces Alexandr Medevdev (KAZ) in the 1/24 round, with sixth seed Nathan MacQueen (GBR) awaiting the winner. Polish is third seed and received a bye to the 1/16 round, to face either teammate Jeff Sena or Diego Quesada Arias (CRC).

Candice Caesar and Sternfeld both came through 1/24 round matches on Sunday and resume their push for a quota slot on Tuesday with matches against Elisabetta Mijno (ITA) and Yagmur Sengul (TUR) respectively. Mijno is the top seed. Elsewhere in the morning session, Jason Tabansky - second seed in the W1 men - meets Martin Saych (GBR) in the 1/8 round.

Recurve men open and compound women open are in action on Tuesday in the afternoon session. Bennett and Kevin Mather resume at the 1/16 round. Bennett tackles Jung Hoon Kim (KOR) and Mather meets Hanreuchai Netsiri (THA). Gardner and Teresa Wallace pick up at the same stage in the compound women. Gardner plays Nur Syahidah Alim (SGP), with Wallace up against Jomer Akter (BAN), the sixth seed.

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