Croatia wins World Cup stage final with States upset

Croatia beat the world number one ranked USA compound men’s team to gold, 235 points to 233, at the fourth stage of the 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Berlin, Germany.

“It’s never good to underestimate your opponent, which in situations like this you actually can’t do,” said Mario Vavro. “Of course we were nervous but being nervous is something that can actually help you.”

“The chemistry between us at the moment was good enough to do it, so I’m happy.”

The US men took a one point lead, 59-58, after the first end and looked relaxed. The jovial atmosphere faded as the match progressed and they tried to keep up with a relentless Croatian trio that followed up with three ends of 59.

Croatia’s opener Domagoj Buden, who also shoots for individual gold and a ticket to the 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final later in Berlin, was excellent.

He dropped just one arrow, his third, out of the 10-ring and scored five Xs.

Vavro and Ivan Markes put two into the nine each over the 24-arrow 50-metre match. It was Markes’ last 10 that sealed the victory.

“We’ve been in this situation a few times. We work really good as a team and our time came,” Markes said. “It’s just the beginning.”

It is Croatia’s first ever team gold medal on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit.

Italy beat Russia to compound men’s team bronze, 231-230, courtesy of an upgraded Italian linecutter in the last end.

The fourth stage of the 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup takes place in Berlin, Germany on 16 to 22 July.