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WROCLAW, Poland - The level of shooting on the field today, at the fourth stage of the Archery World Cup, was nothing short of spectacular. All competitors stepped up their game under double pressure: competitors not only hoped to reach the finals of this World Cup stage, but also had their last opportunity to qualify for the World Cup Final in Paris next month. During individual eliminations at World Cup stage 4, there were incredible scores and shocking upsets to determine who will shoot for medals.
World ranked No. 1 Erika Jones (Grand Island, Neb.) tied her recent world record in qualifications to finish first yesterday and will be shooting for two gold medals this weekend. After easily defeating opponents, including Korea's Bomin Choi in the semifinals, Jones will face Albina Longinova of Russia for gold.
Jones will join Braden Gellenthien (College Station, Tex.) both in France for the World Cup Final, and in the mixed team final for gold against Russia here in Poland. The pair shot straight 158s in each match today, crushing teams from Sweden, South Africa and the Netherlands who will face Mexico for bronze.
Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho), Dave Cousins (Standish, Maine), and Brady Ellison (Chula Vista, Calif.) had quarterfinal finishes. Wilde, who has also clinched his spot in France for the Final, fell to No. 13 seed, Dominique Genet of France. Genet had an incredible display today, defeating Gellenthien in the 1/8th in a one-arrow shoot off, then Wilde, before advancing to shoot for bronze against No. 14 seed Alexander Dambaev of Russia. No. 1 and 2 seeds, Sergio Pagni of Italy and Pierre Julien Deloche of France will face off for gold.
Cousins won a one-arrow shoot off in the 1/16th against Abhishek Verma of India before falling to Pagni in the quarterfinals. Competition continued fiercely as three of four semifinal matches resulted in perfect 150s.
Ellison, who clinched his ticket to Paris, defeated No. 39 seed Alan Wills of Great Britain in the 1/16th after he upset Luis Alvarez of Mexico. Ellison fell to gold medal contender Im Dong Hyun of Korea after tying the first two sets. However, Im shot 29s in his final three sets to grab victory. All four archers from Korea will shoot for medals with Seungyun Lee and Jin Jae Wang competing for gold.
As only two archers from any country can qualify for Paris, competition between the recurve women from Korea was intense today. Three of four will be medal contenders this weekend, Hyun-Jung Joo will need to win bronze over Alejandra Valencia of Mexico and have Ki Bo Bae take silver to Ok Hee Yun to earn her spot in Paris over Ki. Valencia needs the win to clinch the seventh space in the Final, but should she fail, Miranda Leek (College Station, Tex.) will take it.
Michelle Gilbert (Bethesda, Md.) upset Ane Marcelle Gomes Dos Santos of Brazil in the 1/48th before facing Deepika Kumari in the 1/24th. Coming from behind, Gilbert was down 5-1 and brought the score up to 5-5 for a shoot off which Kumari took.
Leek shot strong through her first two matches yesterday but fell to No. 10 seed Karina Winter of Germany in the 1/16th. Jennifer Hardy defeated Sarah Nikitin of Brazil before falling to Naomi Folkard of Great Britain in the 1/24th. Holly Stover (Chula Vista, Calif.) fell to Rebecca Martin of Great Britain in the 1/48th.
Other newcomers to the World Cup scene faced tough early matches. Tristan Skarvan (College Station, Tex.) defeated Maja Marcen of Colombia in the 1/24th and then faced No. 13 seed Isabell Danielsson of Sweden. The two tied and both shot 10s in the shoot off, however Danielsson's was closer to the center and she advanced. Carli Cochran (Willow Street, Pa.) shot her way into the 1/16th where she was upset by No. 19 Kristina Berger of Germany, who went on to defeat No. 3 seed Marcella Tonioli of Italy and work her way to the bronze match.
Garrett Abernethy (Aiken, S.C.) fell to Patrick Laursen of Denmark by only a single point in the 1/24th. Daniel McLaughlin (Chula Vista, Calif.) followed an impressive showing in the qualification round with a strong performance until a surprise upset by Tyagi Priyank of India in the 1/16th.
Joe Fanchin (Chula Vista, Calif.) fought his way into the 1/16th where he fell to No. 1 Oh Jin Hyek of Korea. Jake Kaminski (Gainesville, Fla.) upset Alexander Liahushev of Belarus in a close match in the 1/24th before falling to Lee Seungyun of Korea.
Leek and Ellison competed in mixed team eliminations, narrowly defeating Great Britain in the 1/8th before falling to Korea by only a single point in the quarterfinals. Korea will face Italy for gold and Japan will shoot against Chinese Taipei for bronze.
For all match results, including detailed score reports for each archer, visit http://www.worldarchery.org/en-us/worldcup/wroclaw/livescores.aspx.
Competition resumes tomorrow morning with team eliminations through the semifinals.
Follow daily coverage on http://www.worldarchery.org and visit USA Archery on Facebook and Twitter for updates from the field.
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