Gellenthien takes Shanghai gold after Frederickx folds under final-arrow pressure
“I knew it was going to be a tight match. I knew I was going to need a big match to win it and I am glad I was able to pull through. I needed to get a little lucky at the end but sometimes that happens,” said Gellenthien.
It looked like the 21-year-old Belgian archer might author a dramatic upset until the very last moments.
He had dropped his sixth arrow into the nine after Braden let nerves get the better of him with his third. The first arrow of the fourth end got away from Gellenthien, too – and at the start of the fifth and final end, the international rookie was only one point off perfect and unexpectedly in command.
Braden closed strong, finishing perfect and totalling 148 points. Frederickx just needed another 10 with his last arrow of the final to win.
But like one of his shots in the previous end, Brend’s hold was long. Too long. The shot broke before the 20-second clock ran all the way down but the arrow went way wide to the left.
It wasn’t a 10 – for the win – or a nine, which would have been a shoot-off. It was an eight and the pendulum pacing the match had swung back in Braden’s favour.
The USA archer had won, 148 points to 147.
“My last arrow I just had too much stress. Everything was too much – and I’m just going to do better next time,” said Brend. “I’m really proud. It feels great to be on the podium and to have the chance to be on the podium twice. I’m going to keep practising and do better next time.”
Gellenthien rated his own performance well and claimed that despite the Belgian archer’s inexperience, he had expected the match to be tight.
“I really think the sky’s the limit for him. He looked unflappable until that last arrow,” said the world number two. “He didn’t get to the finals by mistake, he deserved to be there and he shot just like, he proved it. I think that there’s nothing he can’t accomplish and I look forward to many more battles with him in the future.”
This is Braden’s second victory in Shanghai, the fifth stage win of his career and the first since he last won here back in 2013.
It books his ticket for an eighth career Hyundai Archery World Cup Final. He previously won the season-ending event in 2012 and 2017.
Roberto Hernandez won the compound men’s bronze medal, beating Evren Cagiran of Turkey in the last end of the match. The El Salvadorian archer shot a perfect 30 points with his last three arrows, while his opponent dropped two in the nine, to finish with 146 points. Cagiran had 144.
The second stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup takes place on 6-12 May in Shanghai, China.