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The United States women's recurve team opened the competition at the World Archery Championships in Torino, Italy this morning, determined to continue the excitement about their recent progress on the international scene. The team of Olympians Khatuna Lorig (Los Angeles, CA) and Jennifer Nichols (Cheyenne, WY), along with rising star Miranda Leek (Des Moines, IA) delivered with a strong 5th place team qualification.
Lorig started the morning as Team USA's strong starter, in 10th after 70 meters with a 329. Leek finished the first long distance in 31st with a 320, while Nichols scored a 315 to start in the 48th position. Leaders at the first distance were Bo Bae Ki (KOR) with a 340, followed by Un Sil Kwon (PRK), shooting a 339, and Dasomi Jung (KOR) with 333. As the recurve women moved to 60 and 50m, there was some movement in the U.S. ranks, while Ki remained consistently at the head of the category.
At the final distance, Nichols showed the mettle of a two-time Olympian under pressure, shooting an amazing 355 to medal at 30 meters, the only distance at which Ki took the silver. In overall rankings, Ki finished the day in the number one spot with a 1389, followed by Jung, shooting a 1361, and Yuting Fang (CHN), scoring a 1358. For the U.S., Leek led the qualifications in 18th with a 1333; Lorig finished in 20th with her score of 1331; and Nichols ended with a 1324, in 31st.
With their collective score of 3988, the U.S. women's recurve team has qualified 5th, ensuring them a berth to the critical 1/8 matches later this week, which will determine which countries qualify their quota spots for the 2012 Olympic Games. Top team qualifiers on the women's side were Korea, the People's Republic of China, and host country Italy, followed by India and the United States.
While the U.S. team will open their eliminations with a 1/8 meeting against Denmark on Wednesday, individual eliminations will begin on Thursday. Leek's first match will be versus 95th seed Mariana Avitia (MEX); Lorig will face Kaori Kawanaka (JPN), ranked 93rd after today; and Nichols will shoot her first match against Romina Quiroga, the number 82 qualifier.
For complete results from today's matches, visit http://www.archery.org. USA Archery will be tweeting results, quotes and other updates live throughout the week; follow "usaarchery" on Twitter and "like" us on Facebook to join in the excitement of the World Archery Championships!
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