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CORTINA, Italy - The 2018 World Archery Field Championships are set in the breathtaking mountains of northeastern Italy with challenging terrain, tough cuts and slopes and will put the world's best field archers to the test.
Qualification spreads over two days, with competition today at 24 unmarked targets, or targets at unknown distances, and 24 marked targets tomorrow. Match-play begins Friday using "pools" in a shoot-up format that breaks from typical bracket-style eliminations seen in most target competitions. The team competition in field archery is also unique, featuring one archer from each discipline: one recurve, compound and barebow archer per team.
Reigning World Champions, USA's Brady Ellison and Steve Anderson have returned to defend their individual titles from 2016, and their team gold. Junior compound Sophia Strachan is also back, missing her first week of classes at Columbia University where she is a varsity student-athlete, to defend her title. USA also holds the junior men's team title and will look to repeat.
Brady Ellison and France's Jean Charles Valladont have a well-known rivalry that is piqued in field competition. While Ellison has won the last two editions of the World Field Championships, Valladont won silver over Ellison's bronze at the Rio 2016 Games. Ellison finished on top this morning qualifying first with a 383 over Valladont's 379. For the recurve women, Heather Koehl was USA's top qualifier, sitting 15th now with a 323 with World Games Champion and Olympic silver medalist Lisa Unruh of Germany solidly in first with a 363.
The compound men's field is tight, with USA's Steve Anderson and Dan Jasa locked in a four-way tie for 7th with 410s, just four points off the top score. Paige Pearce, who won world field silver in 2012 is sitting in a tie for 3rd with a 406, eight points off first. Heather Gore also scored a top 10 finish for the day, posting a 392.
World Games silver medalist John Demmer III is avidly chasing gold, having yet to win an international individual title in the barebow division. Demmer is sitting 3rd with a 349, only four points off the top spot, and USA's John Dillinger is 4th with a 340. Fawn Girard led the U.S. barebow women, ranking 8th overall today with a 308.
Compound juniors Savannah Vanderwier and Sophia Strachan posted 389s to finish the day tied for 3rd, 10 points back from the top spot and Connor Sears is sitting in 2nd for the men with a 409, just five points off first.
2016 world silver medalist Mark Schlaudraff has also returned to hunt for barebow junior gold and with a 298, is ranked 4th, just ahead of teammates Robert Schell and Andrew Ford's 7th and 8th place spots with 275 and 256. Laura Hughes, Abigail Wier and Sophia Hickerson filed in 4th, 5th and 6th respectively for the barebow junior women with 255, 236 and 186.
Nicholas Kalakanis was the top U.S. qualifier for the recurve juniors, sitting in 4th with a 337 and Joseph Scarboro is also in the top 10 with a 328 to put him 9th so far. Faith Cook had the best day of the recurve junior women, ranking 11th with a 269.
Complete results from the competition can be found here. Follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitterand Instagram for more from the event.
Photo: World Archery
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