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Tokyo - U.S. archers fared well in the 2012 World Cup Final, and every team member returned home with hardware to cap off a very successful season for Team USA. Thanks to strong shooting from the six-person American squad, the U.S. team members clinched compound mixed team gold, recurve mixed team gold, compound men's individual gold and silver, compound women's individual gold and bronze, and recurve men's individual silver.
Brady Ellison (AZ) took his third consecutive medal at a World Cup Final, losing in a shootoff heartbreaker to Korea's reigning World Champion, Woojin Kim; Braden Gellenthien (VA) picked the right moment to shine as he won a gold medal victory, and the World Cup Final title, versus teammate Reo Wilde (ID), who was previously undefeated in the 2012 season.
Jennifer Hardy (TX) shot with teammate Ellison in the recurve mixed team event, having a gold medal winning performance, while Wilde and Christie Colin (PA) took the gold medal in the same event for the compound division. Colin won a bronze medal victory of her own, while teammate Jamie Van Natta (OH) claimed the women's World Cup Final title.
Ellison, who shot a remarkable 173 tens in his World Cup season, was also awarded the coveted Longines Prize for Precision, given to the archer who shoots the highest number of tens in the World Cup events. Ki Bo Bae, Olympic champion for Korea, won the prize for the women.
Recaps of the medal matches are below; credit World Archery Communications, edited by USA Archery.
In the recurve men's gold medal match Brady Ellison (USA), the two-time World Cup Final champion, faced Kim Woojin (KOR) the current World Champion.
In the opening two sets the archers shot a pair of 28s for a 2-2 start.
In the third set Ellison scored 9-8-9. Kim shot a 9-8 and needed a 10 to take the set but he shot a 9. After three tied sets the score was 3-3. Ellison shot a 9-7-9 in the fourth set and this time Kim took advantage of it with 10-9-9 for a 5-3 lead.
As the wind and rain were picked up, Ellison needed to win the fifth set to have chance to defend his title. He started with a 10. Kim scored a 9. Ellison shot another 10 and Kim shot another 9. To clinch the set Ellison needed at least a 9 but shot an 8. Kim needed a 10 to win but he also scored an 8. Ellison took the set 28-26 which meant there would be a shoot-off.
Ellison shot first and scored an 8. Kim also shot an 8 but his was closest to the center. Gold medal for Kim and Silver for Ellison.
In addition to winning a silver medal Ellison won the Longines Prize fore Precision. He shot the most 10s during the World Cup season and won the Longines Prize for Precision. Over the course of the World Cup season, Ellison scored 173 tens to win the Longines Prize for Precision. Gael Prevost (FRA) finished 2nd in the ranking with 154 tens and Im Dong Hyun (KOR) 3rd with 147.
Both Jennifer Nichols-Hardy and Choi (KOR) shot well in the bronze medal match.
Choi won the first two sets, 28-26 and 29-28.
Nichols-Hardy came back in the third set with 10-9-10, while Choi scored 8-9-9 brining the set score to 2-4. Nichols-Hardy stayed alive in the fourth by catching a liner 8 and shooting two 10s. That was enough to tie this set, as Choi scored 9-9-10. The Korean led 5-3.
Nichols-Hardy needed to win the fifth set but she shot 9-6-10 for 25. Choi scored 8-8-9 to match these 25 points and won it 6-4.
Two of team USA's archers met in the Gold medal match. Reo Wilde (USA) Ranked No. 1 and Braden Gellenthien (USA) No. 2 in the world slugged it out in a thriller of a title match.
In the first two ends both archers shot clean with a pair of perfect 60s. In the third end Gellenthien shot a 10-10-9 to Wilde's 10-10-10. To give Wilde the lead at 90-89.
Gellenthien scored 10-10-10 in the fourth and managed to tie the match as Wilde dropped a point with a 10-9-10. The score was tied at 119-119 with three arrows to go.
Wilde opened the fifth end with a 9. Gellenthien could not take advantage of if with a 9. Reo scored another 9. Braden scored a 10 this time. Wilde finished with a 10. Gellenthien closed with perfect 10 to give him the win at 148-147. After three silver medals at the World Cup Final, Gellenthien finally won a Gold.
After his match Gellenthien said, "This is my fourth World Cup Final. I had come so close to winning, with three silver medals, and I have finally the bronze… sorry, the gold (laughs). And to do it in such circumstances, needed a 10 on my last arrow to clinch… I still haven't realized that it happened yet"
Jamie Van Natta (USA) met Danielle Brown (GBR) in the women's compound gold medal match.
Jamie Van Natta took an early one point lead of 29-28. In the second end the archers tied with 28 pints bringing the score to 57-56. Then Brown shot an 8-9-9 in the third end. This opened the door for Van Natta who took a three point lead with 9-10-9, bring the score to 85-82. Both archers shot a strong 29 in the fourth end.
Brown picked up a point at the opening of the fifth end (9-8). Then both archers shot a 9. Brown finished with a 10. Van Natta needed a 9 to win her second World Cup Final and she did. Victory for Van Natta, 140-139.
Christie Collin (USA) shot against Yumiko Honda (JPN) in the bronze medal match.
Honda had a great start leading, 28-27, but shot a 7 in the second end. Colin took advantage and reversed the situation, 55-54.
Honda scored 10-10-9, while Colin had 9-10-9. The match was tied at 83-83!
Honda lost a bit of her drive in the fourth end with 9-9-8 and Colin took advantage of it to score 10-10-9. She had commanding lead 112-109.
Honda finished the match with 9-8-9. Colin did not let go her chance of a second World Cup Final podium in two years. She scored 10-10-8 to win 140-135.
Collin said, "I'm very happy, it could have been better but I had just a few bad shots. It is a great end to my last year, for a while, on the World Cup Circuit. This was a result of the goals I set back in 2010."
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