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ANTALYA, Turkey - At the season's first World Cup, in Shanghai earlier this month, it was all about the women, who clinched compound team silver and recurve team bronze. This weekend, the men will take the stage.
The matches to watch on Saturday: Multi-time World Cup and World Championships gold medalist Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho) will face off with teammate - and World Cup Final champion - Bridger Deaton (Pella, Iowa) for compound men's individual bronze.
The compound men's team of Wilde, Deaton and Steve Anderson (Salt Lake City, Utah) will also compete tomorrow, meeting a strong team from Denmark in the gold medal final, beginning at 4:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (11:00 a.m. local time in Antalya). The match will be live streamed on World Archery's website.
On Sunday, there's plenty of cheering to do for Team USA. Olympic silver medalist Brady Ellison (Payson, Arizona) will battle it out with teammate and newcomer Collin Klimitchek (Chula Vista, California) for recurve men's individual bronze. Why it matters: both archers will also compete at the World Archery Championships later this season, where they will attempt to earn world titles - and more importantly, Olympic quota spots - for Team USA.
The team of Ellison, Klimitchek, and rookie Zach Garrett (Chula Vista, California), in his own World Cup debut, will also take to the stage for a bronze medal shootout versus France, a team comprised of veterans and newcomers. The good news about this match: If the Antalya World Cup had been the World Championships, the team would have scored three team spots to Rio with their top eight team finish. This is hopeful news for fans cheering for Team USA at the upcoming Worlds.
Watch the recurve men's team and individual matches beginning at 4:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday, also live on World Archery's website.
As for the compound and recurve women, it was a more challenging week, with both teams exiting early in the competition, despite a strong individual performance by five time Olympian Khatuna Lorig (West Hollywood, California), who advanced to the quarterfinals before being edged out. In terms of World Championships forecasting, the team's finish this week was an eye-opener, but not something for fans to panic about.
"We just need to keep practicing. We only need one match," said U.S. National Head Coach KiSik Lee after the recurve women's team lost 5-3 to Demark. The team had cleared their first hurdle - making the top 16 team ranking - but that first match was a tough, close loss.
"There are so many luck factors - but we cannot deal with lucky. We've just got to prepare."
The USA women, featuring young archers Ariel Gibilaro and LaNola Pritchard, along with veteran Lorig, seemed to have bonded well in Shanghai, and train together at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California - something they'll continue to do in advance of the Pan Am Games and the Worlds.
"It is not because they are young they were selected, but because they are shooting better than everyone else in the country. I trust my team members," Lee said with absolute confidence.
Read more about Antalya 2015; and follow USA Archery's coverage of Team USA at the Archery World Cup on Facebook and Twitter.
World Archery Communications contributed to this article.
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