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May 23, 2019

USA Going for Gold at World Cup Antalya

ANTALYA, Turkey – After a strong start to the World Cup season, many USA archers are finding their grooves and are absolutely on fire right now.

After qualifying for the World Cup Final by winning gold at stage one, and bronze at stage two with his first back to back individual podium finishes since 2011, Brady Ellison is again going for gold in Antalya. Ellison is shooting lights out right now. In Shanghai, he had match scores of 89 and 90, and through today’s matches, his arrows never left the yellow.

Already qualified for the Final, Ellison commented: “Now it’s just going there and having fun. The first one you’re really trying to win it to get in the final – this one you’re just trying to win it for you.” While the first two stages featured the same final four for recurve men, Ellison is the only three-peat finalist and will shoot against the Netherlands’ Steve Wijler for gold.

Alexis Ruiz is also going for the three-peat. After full podium sweeps with individual bronze at the first two stages, plus a team silver and mixed team gold in Medellin and vice versa in Shanghai, Ruiz’s rookie season is one for the record books. Back and stronger than ever, Ruiz pulled off the semifinal win 146-145 to earn her first shot at the individual title.

In her first world cup appearance this summer, Paige Pearce made a top eight finish; after qualifying third, she was upset by the 22nd seed in the quarterfinals 147-143.

James Lutz made his international debut in Antalya this year, and on the road to the World Championships next month, this guy is one to watch. Lutz qualified 7th and then climbed the brackets with match scores of 148, 148, 146 and 149 to earn a spot in the gold final. This medal match will be an all-USA showdown against reigning indoor and outdoor World Cup Final Champion Kris Schaff.

Schaff took an exciting semifinal win over world number one Mike Schloesser of the Netherlands in a one arrow shoot off after both scoring 148s. This will be Schaff’s first individual final this season; he says his equipment is finally clicking for him in matches the way it does in practice and this promises to be an epic showdown for gold.

“I was nervous but I got it done,” commented Lutz. “I’m competing in the United States with some of the best guys in the world. This is a bigger stage, but the competition is there at home and that’s good practice.”

On his gold final with Schaff, Lutz added: “There’ll probably be some good trash talk going on but it’ll be fun. I’ve just gotta take it one arrow at a time and see if I can get there.”

With an all USA gold match, either Schaff or Lutz will join Braden Gellenthein with a ticket to the World Cup Final after Gellenthein qualified with the win in Shanghai. Fourth seed Gellenthein was upset round one today 149-147 by Germany’s Trachsel.

In the team competition, USA’s recurve squad for the first stage this year is the same as the team that will compete at the World Archery Championships to secure Olympic quota spots. The trio of Ellison, Jack Williams and Tom Stanwood qualified third and breezed through a 6-0 first round. Spain took them to a shoot off in the quarterfinals, but with a strong 29, the U.S. prevailed to face 10th seed Italy in the semis. With another shoot off, the USA fell short on closest arrow and will shoot for bronze this weekend.

The USA compound women’s team of Ruiz, Pearce and Cassidy Cox, who will also represent Team USA at the World Championships, was a powerful trio and sealed the U.S. a third shot at the team title in as many world cup stages. Going for back to back gold wins, the team scored 234s in both matches to well outscore opponents and earn a spot in the final.

The top seeded compound men’s team shot strong, posting back to back 235s, but were just outscored in the quarterfinals by Turkey’s 236. The recurve women’s team fell short of the top sixteen, going out 3-5 in an early upset to Austria.

Competition resumes tomorrow with the mixed team matches through the semifinals. Scores are live at www.worldarchery.org. The medal finals will be available live this weekend on NBC’s Olympic Channel at www.olympicchannel.com/live.

Photos and information attributed to World Archery Communications.

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