US Recurve Men Claim First World Championship Title Since 1983
BELEK-ANTALYA, Turkey – As Brady Ellison (Chula Vista,
Calif.) and Jake Kaminski (Gainesville, Fla.) lifted their arms in celebration,
Joe Fanchin (Oceanside, Calif.) stared down his final arrow, seemingly willing
it to land in the center of the target. With that final shot, the U.S. men’s
team won their first world title in thirty years, a major victory for a team
that’s struggled since taking the silver medal at the London 2012 Olympic
“A lot of people have doubted the U.S. team,” Ellison told
World Archery. “To get into the gold medal match and almost win gold at the
[Olympic] Games – and then we come here, where we have tough conditions, get to
the finals and into the gold medal match…and then win it. It’s big for us.”
The 214-211 victory
over a strong team from the Netherlands was the culmination of a grueling week
of ups and downs at the World Championships. Winds gusting in excess of 40
miles per hour plagued the archers in individual and team preliminaries,
knocking out every single individual athlete by the 1/8 round, including
archers who currently hold the top spots in the world rankings.
Two other bright spots in the week: a mixed team silver
medal for Ellison and teammate Khatuna Lorig (West Hollywood, Calif.) – and a
mixed team bronze for the compound duo of Erika Jones (Grand Island, Neb.) and
Jesse Broadwater (Jennserstown, Pa.).
Lorig – the five time Olympian who coached actress Jennifer
Lawrence for her role in “The Hunger Games” – was consistent enough with
Ellison to fight their way into the gold medal final despite difficult
conditions during their early matches. In today’s meeting with Korea, Lorig and
Ellison delivered a score of 139 - not quite enough to overcome opponents Oh
Jin Hyek and Ki Bo Bae, who posted a solid 148 to claim the world title.
Jones and Broadwater were the sole American compound archers
in this weekend’s final, a testament to the treacherous conditions on the field
this week, as well as the increasing level of talent from other countries in a
division historically dominated by the United States. Facing Abhishek Verma and
Jyothi Surekha Vennam of India, the Americans shot a 156 – just four points shy
of perfect – to 151, to claim the win.
The World Archery Championships closes the outdoor season
for some archers, while youth and para athletes look toward their own World
Championships events, which begin in Wuxi, China on the 14th for the
youth archers, and in Bangkok, Thailand on the 29th for para
athletes. Watch usarchery.org for complete coverage.