USA puts three recurve archers into Paris final fours

Brady Ellison shoots during the third stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Paris.

Four days after capturing a full team slate to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the USA has two recurve men’s semifinals and three archers in the recurve final fours at the third stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Paris, France.

Brady Ellison, Jack Williams and Mackenzie Brown will all shoot for gold this Sunday.

The Olympic-bound trio will be joined in the Charlety Stadium arena by Italy’s Federico Musolesi and Patrick Huston of Great Britain in the men’s finals, and Deepika Kumari of India, Mexico’s Ana Vazquez and Russia’s Elena Osipova for one final chance to win an automatic ticket to the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Yankton.

Ellison, Kumari and Brown already have spots at the season-ending event secured – the first two as stage winners in Lausanne and Guatemala, respectively, and the latter on points – but the remainder of the line-up needs a result here in Paris to book a ticket.

“I chose not to go to the first two World Cup stages because of Olympic trials,” said Williams, who will face Huston in the semifinals on Sunday. “I really feel like I made the right choice. I was now more prepared for what’s in this tournament and Tokyo. I feel like everything is right.”

Ellison, in spite of his world number one ranking, considered himself fortunate to avoid elimination after a difficult eliminations day. 

The reigning Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion was tested in his quarterfinal match against Nicholas D’Amour of the US Virgin Islands, who is also qualified for Yankton, winning a tiebreak to overcome shooting struggles that have plagued him since the weekend. 

With the Olympics fast approaching, Sunday will serve as a valuable opportunity to bolster his confidence ahead of the Games.

“Honestly, I shot weak today and I got really lucky to get to the final four,” Ellison said. “When I fire a shot, I want to know where it’s going to go, not to be like, ‘just please, hit somewhere, please’. It makes me feel glad that on bad days I’m still competitive. But I want to be good, not lucky.”

The USA upgraded its two individual quota places for Tokyo 2020 to full team spots in both the men’s and women’s events during the final Olympic qualifier this weekend in Paris. Those results, it seems, were no fluke.

Mackenzie Brown and Deepika Kumari have faced each other already on the international circuit this season.

The pair shot for gold at stage one in Guatemala City, with Kumari earning the winning and automatic ticket to Yankton, while this second appearance in the final four has Brown accruing enough points to also be a lock for the season finale.

If the silver medallist from Guatemala City were to finish atop the podium in France, it would open up another ranking qualification spot – as would a second gold from Kumari.

It could ultimately mean that all four recurve women in the Paris final four will also appear in Yankton. But it’s dependent on a certain combination of results for them all to overtake Germany’s Michelle Kroppen in the circuit rankings.

All that is irrelevant for Kumari, who’s just looking for one last result ahead of the Olympics.

“I feel really good,” she said, who was hoping to upgrade her individual quota to a full team slate before India suffered an unexpected early exit in the second round of the qualifier. “I’m trying to get better and better. I will try to do my best. I can’t say if I expected to be in the final four or not. But now I want to get to the final.”

Vazquez, riding the momentum of Mexico’s first-place finish at the final qualifying event to book that Olympic quota – making Tokyo her first Games – will face Kumari in the semifinals. 

“I had a feeling that today was going to be a great day,” Vazquez said after eliminations. “And it is. I’m very happy and excited.”

Competition continues in Paris with mixed team and compound eliminations on Thursday.

Final fours

Archers are listed in match order, with their seed in brackets. The first two archers face each other in the first semifinal, the second two in the second semifinal.

Recurve men

Recurve women