8 notes: Wroclaw team eliminations
The top 16 teams battle for medal match berths on team eliminations day at the Archery World Cup. Recap the morning’s competition in eight, quick-hit notes.
Read the full results
1. The USA could be taking home four team medals from Wroclaw 2015 – and the nation is already guaranteed three, after making the compound men’s and both recurve team finals.
Following the squad’s strongest qualifying day in recent memory, converting good seedings into finals arena appearances is an even better result for the men and women in red.
2. It wasn’t clear cut all the way, though. The USA men had a wobbly third end against Switzerland but had enough to beat them in four sets, before outshooting Brazil to make the semis.
Brady Ellison was using his backup bow. “The string broke on the bow I was using at the worlds,” he explained. “And I didn't have a backup string. It felt good. It's the first time we've been in a gold medal match for a while. We only had a couple of ends that weren't good. It's been a great day.”
The USA women had an even trickier path. In the quarterfinals, they were behind against Japan after the first set, but Japan’s consistency quickly fell away, with a four in the final end sealing their fate and sending the States girls into the semifinal.
They then outshot China in the semi for the chance to face Georgia for gold on Sunday - which will see Khatuna Lorig face the team from the nation of her birth. She joked afterwards: “It will be like four Georgians and two Americans fighting it out for the gold.”
Jokes aside, Khatuna’s been representing USA for a decade and will have absolutely no interest in seeing the Georgian squad beat her on the field on Sunday.
3. A US-win won’t come easily, though.
The Georgian women's team continued their superb year, after qualifiying a full team for Rio and picking up a brace of European indoor and outdoor medals. “It’s not a team, anymore. It's a family. We know what to do out here. We've been scoring really strongly and we expect the gold medal.”
4. Reo Wilde, Braden Gellenthien and Steve Anderson were top scorers on the field through both their compound men’s matches (they had a bye into the quarters), while their USA women’s counterparts, seeded fourth, posted a field-high 224 for their first match and a field-low 209 in their second.
It was still enough for a bronze match berth to complete a clean sweep of USA team finals appearances.
5. The German recurve men haven't been making much of an impression on the international stage recently, but today they thumped France, 6-0, and India, 6-0, to make the medal matches, before winning their semifinal over Italy in a shootoff.
“It was very nice to win,” said Florian Kahllund. “The wind was getting stronger and we struggled a little at the start, but we got the win. This is a different team from Copenhagen, and the pressure is now off, so it's a lot easier.”
Germany failed to win a team quota place for Rio at the worlds but Florian did claim an individual spot for the nation.
6. Italy’s men and women made both recurve semis – but lost both, and the recurve men in a shoot-off.
“We shot really well, maybe lost a bit of focus in the last two sets,” said Nespoli. “The shoot-off was a bit of a coinflip. We shot 28 but they shot 29. I think it’s good for us. We hadn’t had a good season but we were ready for the world championships, and we’re shooting the same way here.”
7. Russia’s compound women beat the USA at Antalya 2014 to snap a long gold-medal streak for the States girls. It’s a different-look US team at Wroclaw in 2015, but a strong 226-point 24-arrow match in the semis put Russia ahead of the US women and onto a third Archery World Cup finals field on the year.
The previous two, however, in Shanghai and Antalya, only featured the Russians going for bronze. In Wroclaw, they will upgrade that podium position – the only question remaining is: one step, or two?
8. China, despite fielding mostly newer, younger, ‘alternate’ teams, made both recurve team semis. Like Korea, the Chinese clearly have enough strength in depth to compete consistently on the world stage.