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April 27, 2024

USA show quality and calm to take triple bronze at the Archery World Cup in Shanghai

SHANGHAI, China – Bronze medals were the order of the day on Saturday as the USA claimed three in the compound division at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Stage 1.

These included a first individual World Cup medal since 2019 for Alexis Ruiz, as well as bronze for Nick Kappers and, in the mixed team, for Olivia Dean and Kris Schaff.

Dean and Schaff were involved in a tremendous fightback against Mexico in their bronze medal match. The two teams were locked at 39-39 after the first end, only for Mexico to bag a maximum the next two ends.

Although the USA matched them on the third end, the pairing of Andrea Becerra and Lot Maximo Méndez Ortiz held a one point advantage heading into end number four. The US duo held their nerve and scored 40, while the Mexico team managed 39, sending the match into a shootoff.

Méndez Ortiz started with a 10, which was matched by Dean. Becerra landed in the nine, allowing Schaff to seal the deal, the American letting out a knowing ‘yep’ as soon as it left his bow.

Dean has this month climbed to her highest world ranking of 14, and now has a bronze medal at a World Cup stage to go with the compound women team gold she enjoyed in 2023. The 17-year-old has had quite the 12 months, also winning team gold at the World Archery Youth Championships in Ireland last summer, and capturing back-to-back team gold at the 2023 Pan American Games and 2024 Pan American Championships.

Schaff now has 19 World Cup medals, made up of six gold, seven silver and six bronze stretching back to 2017. An archer for the occasion, he held his nerve in Shanghai to help set the USA on their way to their three bronze medals.

Mexico’s Becerra bounced back in the individual event, defeating Ruiz 147-146 in the semifinal. Ruiz faced Meeri-Marita Paas (EST) in the bronze medal match and led from start to finish for a 145-141 victory.

It is five years since Ruiz last claimed an individual medal at a World Cup stage. In 2019, when she rose to become world number one, she won a gold, a silver and two bronze. The 24-year-old arrived in Shanghai after taking triple gold at the Pan American Championships in Medellin.

Kappers tackled Priyansh (IND) in his semifinal match, and was also edged out 147-146 but responded in the bronze medal contest to defeat Yang Jaewon (KOR), the fourth seed, 149-146. This was a second World Cup bronze for 31-year-old Kappers, after his podium finish at Stage 3 in Medellin last year.

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