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BANGKOK - The 2013 World Archery Para Championships will be held in here beginning tomorrow, as official practice and the Opening Ceremony kick off this biannual event. Warm weather is expected to be a factor, with temperatures predicted in the mid 90s for the next five days in Thailand.
Team USA's squad - including a mix of veteran competitors and strong newcomers - will compete in Rajamangala Stadium, which will accommodate some 254 participating athletes from Asia, the Americas and Europe. South Africa is the only representative from that continent - Africa - where archery in general is starting to become more popular.
With many of the medal winners from the London 2012 Paralympic Games competing, the standard of competition is expected to be very high. In women's recurve, USA's Lee Ford- Faherty and Kinga Kiss-Johnson will face London team medalists Yan Huilian (CHN) and Lee Hwa Sook (KOR); American men Michael Lukow and Tim Palumbo will meet fierce competition in Russia's Paralympic team champions Timur Tuchinov, Oleg Shestakov, and Mikhail Oyun.
The U.S. has three competitors in the women's compound open division: Martha Chavez, D'Arce Hess, and Ashlee Sheppard. Great Britain's Mel Clarke and Paralympic gold medalist Danielle Brown will also be forces to contend with in that category.
Jeff Fabry, Paralympic Champion and three time Paralympic medalist, will compete for the U.S. in a tough men's compound W1 class that boasts the other medalists from London: David Drahoninsky (CZE) and Norbert Murphy of Canada. Paralympians Chuck Lear and Jerry Shields will also represent Team USA in this category.
Also competing for Team USA this week: Paralympics quarterfinalist Dugie Denton in the compound men's open category, joined by newcomers Jeff Sena and Lance Thornton. Watch for these archers to battle against 61 other talented athletes in this very popular category.
Follow @usaarchery on Twitter, and USA Archery on Facebook and Google Plus, for reports throughout the event. Join the online conversation about the event by hashtagging #WAPC2013, and cheer for your favorites!
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