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MEXICO CITY, Mexico - With a personal best in tough wind this morning, Mackenzie Brown's (Flint, Texas) second half of qualification at the World Archery Championships catapulted her into 9th for the U.S. recurve women with a 663.
"I learned a lot - I had a strong start but then had some ups and downs through the first half, but that helped me solidify my mental process and make sure it was really strong, and that's how my second half went," shared Brown. The Olympian is making her senior world championship debut this week and added: "I really enjoy getting to wear USA on my back any chance I get, and World Championships is just one of those stages that's unlike any other, so it's fantastic to be here."
Also making her World Archery Championship debut with Team USA this weekend is National Women's Head Coach Songi Woo, who has been working with Brown at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center. Brown commented: "Things are really awesome with Coach Woo; I really appreciate her in terms of the support she brings. It's also great to have not only a familiar face and someone I train with constantly, but also a friend behind me."
Sandwiched by teammates of varying experience, five-time Olympian Khatuna Lorig (Denver, Colorado) scored a 650 to put her 17th, and Eliana Claps (Everett, Washington) qualified 80th. While the trio finished 20th as a team, Brown earned Team USA a 6th place seed for the mixed team event with Brady Ellison's (Globe, Arizona) high finish yesterday.
On the mixed team competition, which was recently added to the Olympic program for 2020, Brown added: "I really enjoy the mixed team event and I've medaled at every mixed team event I've competed in on the world cup stage so I look forward to repeating that here at World Championships. Brady brings a lot of experience to the team, but he's also a really mellow person to shoot with. It's a lot easier to focus on my shot when the other person on my team is really relaxed and encouraging."
Later in the afternoon, the recurve men's team took on the team elimination matches. Opening in a tough match against higher seed, India, USA posted a 52 to India's 54, but came back with strong wins over the next two sets. With just one set to go, India staged a comeback and forced a shoot-off. USA's 29/30 to India's 28 took the win to advance to the quarterfinals.
There, Team USA faced a familiar opponent in the team from Italy. Evenly matched, Ellison, Jake Kaminski (Gainesville, Florida) and Tom Stanwood (Raynham, Massachusetts) went toe to toe, posting 54, 55, 54 over three sets to Italy's identical scores for a 3-3 tie. Six arrows left in the quiver, each team scored four perfect tens on their first four shots. With an 8 and a 9 to Italy's two 9s, USA exited the competition, but as Kaminski commented: "We went out fighting."
Competition resumes tomorrow with early individual elimination matches to get all categories to the 1/16th round. Results throughout the competition are available at www.worldarchery.org. The medal matches this weekend will stream live on the Olympic Channel. For more, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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