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SHANGHAI, China - Both US women's teams clinched hardware in the finals this weekend at the first stage of the 2015 Archery World Cup: a bronze win for recurve, and a silver medal for compound.
The recurve team led by five-time Olympian Khatuna Lorig (West Hollywood, California) and twenty-year old rising stars LaNola Pritchard (Chula Vista, California) and Ariel Gibilaro (Chula Vista, California) climbed the brackets, gunning for a strong performance in preparation for the World Archery Championships in July. The trio will shoot to qualify for spots for Rio 2016, so a win in Shanghai is an important confidence-builder for this new squad.
Lorig posted strong shots throughout the match and the pressure clearly did not affect her younger teammates, either; they joined her with almost all arrows in the gold. The US team dominated the first set by 6 points. They were shaken slightly by wind in the second set, but then never looked back as they clinched the bronze with a solid 5-2 performance.
Lorig praised the team's energy, which she hopes will continue into the season: "We're going to practice more, bond together and get to trust each other a little more."
The similarly composed compound team of Crystal Gauvin (Dayville, Connecticut) and in their rookie season, Angela Bradley (Herald, California) and Lexi Keller (Omro, Wisconsin) took a shot at the gold.
A very new team compared to the squad that had been undefeated from mid 2013-2014, Gauvin, Bradley and Keller made an impressive debut in Shanghai. Climbing from a sixth place seed, the team defeated the reigning world champions from Colombia to face Malaysia for the final.
The American trio held a three-point lead after the first end. By 12 arrows the teams were tied and remained so until the final three arrows of the match. Needing a 27 to tie and 28 to win, Gauvin and Bradley both shot nines. Keller, with the final arrow finished with an 8, conceding the match. Bringing home the silver after an impressive first showing, the new team has high hopes for the second stage in Antalya later this month.
"We beat some top teams in Mexico and Colombia, and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the year," explained Gauvin.
To watch these incredible women's performances, video is available here. For complete results from today and scores from the entire weekend, click here and visit USA Archery on Facebook and Twitter for photos and updates from the field.
Some information attributed to World Archery Communication.
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