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CHENGDU, China – An experience of a lifetime ended with a silver lining on Monday as Alyssa Sturgill took her place on the podium in the compound women event at the World University Games.
The last day of the archery competition produced a silver medal for the University of Pikeville student, with a one arrow shootoff denying her the gold.
Sturgill battled through the semifinals with wins on Friday over Purvasha Shende (IND), teammate Sachiko Keane and then Shujia Ma (CHN).
The 20-year-old – who was the 22nd seed after qualification – secured her place in the gold medal match with victory on Monday morning over number two seed Jiayu Zhou of China.
Sturgill then went toe-to-toe with fifth seed Kaur Avneet, who had denied top seeded Korean Sua Cho in the semifinals. The archer from India scored a 10 in the shootoff to Sturgill’s eight, ending an incredible competition for the woman from Wise, VA.
Eight student athletes represented the USA in Chengdu – Sturgill, Natalie Howell, Katherine Wu, Judith Gottlieb; Chris Austin, Sachiko Keane, Alyssa Tenney, and Ellisei Miller - led by University of the Cumberlands head coach Kris Strebeck.
The smiles said it all during Friday’s opening ceremony, with the team striding into the Dong'an Lake Sports Center under the Stars and Stripes. Here was a talented and dedicated group of archers, representing their country on the international stage, while at the same time excelling with their studies.
As the motto of the World University Games stated, ‘Make Dreams Come True’.
The United States will host the 2029 World University Games in North Carolina. The USA has only once previously hosted the Games, when held in Buffalo, NY in 1993. Before that, the event will stop off in Germany (2025) and Korea (2027).