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June 06, 2019

Thompson and Bennett Going for Gold at World Archery Para Championships

‘S-HERTOGENBOSCH, Netherlands – The USA compound open men’s team came into the 2019 World Archery Para Championships with two big goals in mind: set a world record, and earn their 2020 Paralympic quota spots. They shattered their own world record in qualification, and in today’s elimination matches, they earned their max two spots (with a potential third spot still possible) and put archers in the individual gold and bronze finals.

Ben Thompson and Matt Stutzman were the USA compound standouts. Stutzman qualified 1st and Thompson was 5th, but both shot strong scores to go head to head in the semifinals. Tied through most of the match into the final end, Thompson pulled ahead and took the win 144-142 to earn a shot at gold, while Stutzman will fight for bronze.

“I’m stoked; I’m over the moon,” shared Thompson. “I struggled early. It was cold so I was a little frigid, just trying not to collapse, but as it warmed up I found my groove. The only disappointment here is that the team isn’t in the gold final, so to come back today and win is pretty sweet. My quote in 2017 was that I’m tired of being the bronze lady – I’m not the bronze lady anymore!”  

Andre Shelby’s top 16 finish today will help the U.S. solidify a third Tokyo 2020 quota spot if Thompson wins the gold this weekend.

Eric Bennett also locked up a quota spot for the U.S. recurve open men with a 1/16th round win. “On the final arrow I shot a 10, I looked through the scope, did the math wrong and thought I lost by one, but when Coach John [Stover] flipped the score and I found out I actually won, I went from feeling like I completely bombed it to moving on,” shared Bennett. “This means we have a spot for Tokyo now, and I’m going to get emotional, but it feels good. Now it’s time to get ready to win it for me.”

Bennett, who is going for team gold with Michael Lukow and Timothy Palumbo, continued to win close matches all day to earn a spot in the individual gold final as well. He added: “These have been two of the craziest days I’ve ever been a part of. I feel really good, I’m shooting pretty good, I had some close calls today so it was a little scary but I’m excited to shoot for gold.”

Competition resumes tomorrow with the secondary qualification tournament for Tokyo 2020 quota spots. Complete results from the competition are available at www.worldarchery.org. The finals this weekend will be live at www.olympicchannel.com/live. For more, follow USA Archery on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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