STAY UP TO DATE
BERLIN, Germany – The first quota spots for next year’s Olympic Games in Paris will be on offer at the World Archery Championships, which start in the German capital on Tuesday.
The USA has sent along a 12-strong team, six in recurve and six in compound, but those spots – to be awarded on Friday (teams) and Sunday (individuals) – will be in recurve, as this is the only discipline of archery featured at the Olympic Games.
“I think it’s a little bit of a different mindset for winning Olympic spots,” suggested four-time Olympian Brady Ellison. “Because it’s going to be harder for countries to win team spots this year but there’s more opportunity to win them; it’s just every opportunity is very hard.”
Ellison has featured at the Olympic Games in Beijing, London, Rio and Tokyo, and has two team silver and one individual bronze to his name. He added, “We’ve got to be top three at worlds. It’s no longer ‘just got to get past the first match and make the top eight and we have spots’, it’s ‘no, you’ve got to go and win’.
“And so, it’s more of a mentality, like we have every other tournament, let’s just go and win, let’s get on the podium, do our job and not just focus on winning the first match to get our spots (as has been the case in the past).”
There will be 537 athletes competing from 82 nations. Team USA has pulled out all the stops to make sure they are as prepared as they can be for these World Championships. They were together as a recurve group for a week before the tournament, with a particular emphasis on team rounds.
As with the Paralympic Games qualification process, quota spots do not go to the individual archer or team, rather to the country. To select athletes to the U.S. team quota slots, USA Archery hosts a multi-stage U.S. Team Olympic Trials.
“We have a really important goal in this competition,” admitted Jennifer Mucino-Fernandez. “But right now, the three of us (Casey Kaufhold and Catalina GNoriega) are really comfortable. The three of us are shooting amazing again, so I think we’re going to approach it, ‘like have fun and things are going to happen’.”
For Paris 2024, there are 64 men’s and 64 women’s spots available. As well as the World Archery Championships, spots will be awarded at the 2023 Pan American Games followed by an additional continental qualifying Pan Am Championships event next Spring.
The Final Qualification Tournament will be held with World Cup 3 in June 2024. Final remaining quota slots will be allocated to the host nation and to other countries based on team world rankings in June 2024. (Read the 2024 Olympic Games Qualification System).
The compound archers arrived in Germany a little later, among them Sawyer Sullivan and Nick Kappers, who had both been competing at the Buckeye Classic in Ohio. Sullivan took gold in the compound men, defeating Grady Kane on Sunday, before flying to Berlin from Columbus, via New York and Amsterdam.
“I’ve been practicing really hard for Berlin,” said Sullivan before departing for Germany. “We had crazy winds in Ireland (during the World Archery Youth Championships), so that prepared me well.”
At the previous World Archery Championships, held in Yankton, SD two years ago, the compound men’s team of Braden Gellenthien, James Lutz and Kris Schaff won gold, the recurve men’s team of Ellison, Matthew Nofel and Jack Williams took silver and the compound women’s team of Linda Ochoa-Anderson, Paige Pearce and Makenna Proctor claimed bronze. There was an individual silver medal in the recurve women for Kaufhold and a bronze for Ellison in recurve men.
Liko Arreola (Compound Women)
Olivia Dean (Compound Women)
Brady Ellison (Recurve Men)
Catalina GNoriega (Recurve Women)
Nick Kappers (Compound Men)
Casey Kaufhold (Recurve Women)
Jackson Mirich (Recurve Men)
Jennifer Mucino-Fernandez (Recurve Women)
Alexis Ruiz (Compound Women)
Kris Schaff (Compound Men)
Sawyer Sullivan (Compound Men)
Jack Williams (Recurve Men)