USA compound teams consolidate dominance at youth world championships

Compound archers from the USA reigned supreme in the finals venue at the 2019 World Archery Youth Championships. After a morning in which the under-18 squads took both men’s and women’s gold medals next to Madrid’s Royal Palace, the under-21s did exactly the same in the evening.

The juniors completed the sweep the cadets started.

Yet again, it was a women’s title bout between the USA and Russia. Alexis Ruiz, Anna Scarbrough and Savannah Vanderwier defeated their opponents by a single point, 230-229, to claim the eighth title for a USA compound junior women’s side in the history of World Archery Youth Championships.

“I don't know. It was amazing feeling. I'm just really happy,” said Scarbrough. Vanderwier added: "We just went out and shot our best, the best we could.”

The last end brought late drama.

The USA shot 56 and had 228 points on the scoreboard. But two of those arrows were close to the line of 10-ring and had stars, the value still to be confirmed by the judge. Russian archers Elizaveta Knyazeva, Elizaveta Koroleva and Veronika Sanina scored 58 for a clear total of 229 points.

Any outcome could have been announced. The target judge upgraded both USA nines to 10s – and brought the team’s total to 230. It was enough to take gold.

"It was intense. When we saw the score change, we realised we were winners but we all kind of stopped,” said Ruiz. “And then we figured out what happened, that we won! But it was an intense moment. Do we win, do we lose or we will we be tied?”

“Going to the shoot-off, it's always fun but it's also intense,” added Vanderwier. “So we were just waiting, thinking, ‘come on!’”

Curtis Broadnax, Cooper French and Connor Sears were in a league of their own from the first arrow. After the first end, they had a five-point lead of and day enhanced it, end by end, to beat Mexico, 233-224.

“It feels great. Days like this are about hard work put together. We wouldn't be able to do it without each other, without teammates. I'm glad everything worked out,” said Broadnax.

It’s the fourth title for a men’s junior team from the USA at the World Archery Youth Championships but the first since 2009.

“It’s absolutely amazing. All the hard work paid off. I think everything went exactly as planned. We all felt like everything was going automatic and it was just amazing,” added French.

There was visible communication among the USA squad – both those athletes in the arena and the rest of the team watching from the stands. There’s a distinct pride in the squad’s performance – for a key reason.

“We’re internally competing against the US guys. We will get ice cream if we beat their score,” said Ruiz.

The girls took gold – but so did the boys, and with more points. “It looks like girls owe us ice creams,” said Broadnax. “Because it’s the highest score that earns them!”

The compound junior women’s team bronze went to Great Britain and Ella Gibson, Lucy Mason and Jessica Stretton. India’s Sangampreet Singh Bisla, Tushar Sanjay Phadtare and Singh Sukhbeer were awarded the third place in the compound junior men's team competition.

The 2019 World Archery Youth Championships takes place on 19-25 August in Madrid, Spain.