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BEIJING, China - The 2017 World Archery Para Championships was packed with intense competition today. The morning featured the remaining qualification rounds for the compound open women and the W1 archers, followed by early individual elimination matches and in the afternoon, mixed team and team matches through the semifinals. The U.S. archers had a strong showing, earning spots in both open men's team finals.
The recurve open men's team of Paralympian Michael Lukow (Salt Lake City, Utah), rookie Kevin Mather (Lakewood, Colorado) and Timothy Palumbo (Williamsville, New York) fought hard from a 10th place seed to earn a spot in the gold final and a shot at the World Champion title. In the first round, they upset China after a 4-4 tied match went to a shoot-off. USA's 26 easily beat China's 20 to advance.
Their impressive showing in the quarterfinals gave them a solid 6-2 win over the team from Thailand to face No. 6 team, Poland in the semifinals. Continuing to post high scores, the U.S. took the first set but was just edged out in the next two. A comeback in the final set forced another shoot off and the U.S. team's 28 outscored Poland's 27 to put them in the gold final this weekend with Russia.
The compound open men's team of Paralympic Champion Andre Shelby (Jacksonville, Florida), Ben Thompson (Ladsden, South Carolina) and Lance Thornton (Scotts City, Missouri) had locked up the top qualification slot yesterday with a score just three points of the USA's reigning world record.
They took a strong 232-219 win over Canada in the first round, followed by a 222-219 win over Japan in the quarterfinals. Shooting against 4th seed Iran in the semifinals, the U.S. squad opened down one point, and never recovered despite higher scores in the final two ends, so Iran took the win 229-223. USA will shoot against Russia for the bronze on Saturday.
In the morning's qualification session, Paralympic Champion Jeff Fabry (Leemore, California) qualified 7th for the W1 men, followed by Chuck Lear (Lees Summit, Missouri), who was 26th. The competitive W1 women's field saw Great Britain's Jessica Stretton break her own world record for the top qualification spot with a 657, while USA's Lia Coryell (LaCrosse, Wisconsin) ranked 9th.
Compound open women Tink Wallace (North Charleston, South Carolina) and Martha Chavez (Leemore, California) ranked 23rd and 34th respectively. Wallace went on to win her first-round matchup with Lai of Chinese Taipei 129-116 in a decisive victory, while Chavez posted a 130 to the 137 shot by India's Jyoti.
Coryell joined Chavez and Wallace to form a compound open women's team with a 9th place qualification score. They upset Ukraine in the first match with an incredible 211-203 victory before falling 225-189 to the top ranked team from Russia.
Wallace also teamed up with Shelby for the compound open mixed team event. The duo faced an early first round upset by Brazil, 152-145. Coryell and Fabry also fell in their first round match for the mixed team event by just one point to Japan, 127-126.
Competition resumes tomorrow with individual elimination matches from the 1/16th through the bronze medal match for all categories. Complete results from the competition can be found at www.worldarchery.org. For more, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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