US archers Brady, Reo qualify for their sixth World Cup Finals
The most successful athlete on archery’s annual circuit, Brady Ellison is not just the only archer in history to have won the tour three times – but the only to have won a medal at each of the five Archery World Cup Finals he’s competed at.
His first appearance, at Edinburgh 2010, was also his first win. He won a second, one year later in Istanbul, then collected silver at Tokyo 2012 – losing the gold medal match to Kim Woojin – and bronze in Paris in 2013.
In the Olympic Capital of Lausanne at the end of 2014, Brady beat Marcus D’Almeida in a shoot-off to win another Archery World Cup Champion crown, becoming the first archer – in any division – to lift the trophy for a third time.
At the fourth and last leg on the 2015 circuit in Medellin, Brady secured enough points to claim his invitation to Mexico City, and a sixth Archery World Cup Final in a row.
“I did it kind of ugly this season,” said Brady. “I had one good tournament, I got into the top four and the other ones were kind of ‘eh’.”
“I have until 24 October to fix me, though. I’m going to go home, try to fix my shot and get ready to hopefully win it again. Or get another medal.”
“If I make six in a row, I’m going to try and make it six medals, too.”
Ellison finished eighth individually at stage one in Shanghai, fourth in Antalya and made the top 16 in both Wroclaw and Medellin. No flashy finishes, but solid World Cup ranking points at each that, added together, put him up into the top three recurve men’s qualifiers for Mexico City.
The USA athlete, who collected Olympic team silver at London 2012, has never failed to medal at a World Cup Final he’s competed in.
“You have no pressure at the World Cup Final. You win one match, you’re into the medal matches and from that point on you just go for it. It’s a kind of no-hold-nothing-back tournament, relaxed and you have nothing to lose – so take the risk,” he said. Brady’s 74% match win percentage ranks among the best in the world.
“It’s a gigantic paycheck, too. Getting that bonus at the end of the year is good.”
The winner of each of the four competition categories in Mexico City receives 20,000CHF in prize money.
It’s not just about the cash, though. Having already made history as the most winning athlete on the tour, as only one other athlete – compounder Sergio Pagni – has multiple World Cup Final wins (2), Brady is keen to cement his legacy.
“I’ve won three of them. If I win a fourth, it’ll be a really big deal for me,” he said.
“I think it will put it out of reach for a little bit. There are a lot of great shooters out there but winning four out of six is a big deal. I’d be really excited about it.”
“It would be good going into next year and then it sets me up to try and go three in a row, next year!”
While Brady’s already looking forward to 2016, Reo Wilde has one eye on the past.
Reo also qualified for his sixth Archery World Cup Final in 2015, in the circuit’s 10th season and one decade on from his first and only tour win. He took gold in Merida, the first Archery World Cup Final, in 2006.
“In Mexico again, it’s just a double deal,” said Reo. “I think my wife’s going to go with me so it’s really awesome.”
Wilde had bronze in Antalya in 2015 and never dropped out of the top 16 at the season’s other three stages, qualifying for the Final in third, like Brady. Mexico City will be his sixth appearance after Merida ’06 and each Final from 2011 to 2014.
Through those five World Cup tour finales, Reo collected one gold, two silvers and a bronze medal. Only in Paris in 2013 did he leave without a podium, finishing seventh.
Ten years at the top doesn’t come easily.
“It’s been a lot of hard work, paying attention to the equipment, knowing what I’ve got and, just, working really, really hard,” said Wilde. “I think for a couple of years when I didn’t make it I’d just got married and things were a little different – but other than that I’ve been pretty lucky to stay at the top of my game.”
Through hard work, luck, determination and more, Reo Wilde and Brady Ellison will continue to add to their already-impressive rosters of results at their sixth World Cup Finals appearance, each, at Mexico City 2015.
“It’s super laid back, it’s super fun,” Brady concluded. “You just go there and you win! Or, at least, that’s what my mindset is.”