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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - Bridger Deaton joins the Salt Lake City Archery World Cup finals lineup for this weekend along with the U.S. compound women's team and the recurve mixed team as all will be shooting for bronze.
Deaton started the morning early at 4am with an upset stomach after a night of not feeling well. He shared: "Today I came in with zero expectations and it might have helped a little bit to come in with no expectations but I was glad I was able to shoot the way I did."
Deaton, who was the lowest seeded archer of the U.S. team at 24th, won his first match yesterday to continue today and upset Darum of Denmark in the 1/16th 145-144, then knocked out France's Genet with a strong 147-139 victory.
In the quarterfinal, Deaton avenged teammate and top seed Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho)'s early upset by knocking out Choi of Korea 145-143. Denmark's Stephan Hansen took the semifinal win 145-143 over Deaton to shoot for gold, while Deaton will face Mexico's Rodolpho Gonzalez for the bronze.
With the competition field situated between a tall building and a large berm, the wind created challenging conditions for the athletes all week. "The wind is tricky out here," shared Deaton. I worked to stay conscious of that, but for me it's just making sure I stay in my shot and make good clean, quick shots. If I stay at full draw for too long, stuff starts breaking down. I let down a bunch today because of the wind as well as just not getting through the shot as quick as I wanted, but when they were good clean shots, 95% of the time they were going in the ten ring."
Deaton added: "There was more than once where the wind felt like it was coming from left to right and the wind would blow me into the ten ring and it would go off and I would hit a left ten even though I was aiming for the left ten, so the wind had to really be cooking to move my arrows at all, more than once I shot right side ten and it hit left side ten even when I felt the wind cross."
With the half day today, Deaton shared that he'll spend the afternoon playing golf to clear his mind and prep for tomorrow's competition.
Other notable highlights from today's events included Danielle Reynolds (Gilbert, Arizona) with a very high personal finish and strong match scores, climbing from a 22nd place seed to the quarterfinals where she was ultimately edged out by Colombia's Sara Lopez. Steve Anderson (West Jordan, Utah) also had a super strong opening, winning his first match with a perfect 150.
Tune in tomorrow at www.nbcsports.com/live to watch the compound finals, or join us on site where tickets are $5 each and the Archery Festival will feature fun archery games and food trucks galore! Results are available at www.worldarchery.org. For more, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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