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WROCLAW, Poland - Competition is cutthroat at the 4th and final stage of the 2013 World Cup in Wroclaw. With World Championships just around the corner, many countries are taking this opportunity to train and test their top archers in heated competition. Forty countries completed participation in the qualification round and Team USA had a strong performance with several up and coming archers making exceptional World Cup debuts.
The recurve men are poised for a great comeback this week, evidenced by their growing strong performance throughout the FITA round. After 30 arrows, Brady Ellison (Chula Vista, Calif.) had catching up to do in 38th behind teammate Joe Fanchin (Chula Vista, Calif.). Ellison climbed his way through the rankings to finish 7th, leading the US to the 3rd place team finish.
Daniel McLaughlin (Chula Vista, Calif.), in his first World Cup, made his country proud, qualifying 12th with an impressive showing. Fanchin finished qualifications in 32nd and Jake Kaminski (Gainesville, Fla.) was one point behind to qualify 35th.
Korea took the top four finishes in both recurve categories. Oh Jin Hyek, Olympic champion and the winner of the first two World Cup stages, returned to qualify first over teammate Im Dong Hyun by almost 20 points. France's Thomas Aubert qualified fifth, and 18 year old Robin Ramaekers of Belarus finished sixth in his first World Cup appearance. On the women's side, Yun Ok-Hee took the top qualifying spot over teammate Ki Bo Bae. Anastasia Pavlova of Ukraine kept her stellar season going with this highest score behind Korea.
Miranda Leek (College Station, Tex.) was the highest qualifier for the US, ranking 23rd. Michelle Gilbert, also in her breakout World Cup season, finished 57th. Jennifer Hardy (Cheyenne, Wyo.) just made the top 64 cut in 62nd and Holly Stover (Chula Vista, Calif.), another newcomer to the World Cup stage, finished 77th. The women qualified 16th as a team.
Both US compound teams finished first and second for mixed team qualifications. Erika Jones (Grand Island, Neb.), archery's golden girl of the season and World Ranked No. 1, finished qualifications ahead of anyone else by a wide margin. Italy took the second and third qualifying spots with Anastasia Anastasio and Marcella Tonioli. Sara Lopez of Columbia was right behind.
Carli Cochran (Willow Street, Pa.) and Tristan Skarvan (College Station, Tex.) in their first and remarkable World Cup seasons, qualified 14th and 20th.
A fourth athlete, Sarah Lance (Wyandotte, Mich.) was scheduled to compete but withdrew for health reasons. "Unfortunately, a situation has arisen pertaining to my health and I made the choice that I felt was best for myself and everyone it may involve," commented Lance. "Sadly, I felt that I had to withdraw from competition here at Stage 4 of the World Cup in order to do what was best for my health and my future opportunities with World Archery and USA Archery."
Braden Gellenthien was the top qualifier for the US men, finishing 4th, one point ahead of teammate Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho), who took 5th. Dave Cousins (Standish, Maine) was 11th and Garrett Abernethy, yet another new face in this year's World Cup, finished qualifications in 30th.
Italy's Sergio Pagni took the top spot in qualifications and France's Pierre Julien Deloche and Peter Elzinga of the Netherlands were just behind and will be other hard hitters in the compound competition this week.
Early compound elimination matches will begin this afternoon and continue tomorrow with recurve and mixed team eliminations through the semifinals. Check http://www.worldarchery.org/en-us/worldcup/wroclaw/livescores.aspx for live results.
Follow daily coverage on http://www.worldarchery.org and visit USA Archery on Facebook and Twitter for updates from the field.
Some information attributed to World Archery Communication.
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