Torino, ITALY – Brady Ellison (Glendale, AZ) left for the World Archery Championships in Torino, Italy with two goals in mind: first, to help his team qualify quota spots for the Olympic Games in London, and second, to come back with gold medals. Three men’s Olympic quota spots now belong to the United States, thanks to excellent shooting from Ellison, along with teammates Joe Fanchin (Oceanside, CA) and Jacob Wukie (Oak Harbor, OH).
As for the medal: it may not be Ellison’s top choice for color, but today, he taught archers across the world, particularly younger archers, an important lesson when discussing the bronze medal he’s bringing home: in this sport, doing your best is what matters.
“I shot a very good arrow at the shoot off in the semifinal; I knew it was a good arrow,” explained Ellison when talking to World Archery Communications today. “It was a 10, but it was not close enough to the center. It would have been better to win the gold, but I did my best so I am happy with the bronze. You know, you can’t always win, people make mistakes and so do I. It was awesome to be here anyway!”
The match that may have cost Ellison his chance at gold was such a close one that those watching surely could not have faulted the number one World Ranked archer. Meeting Korean Kim Woojin in the semifinal, Ellison matched his opponent repeatedly, finally bringing the match to a 5-5 tie. With a one-arrow shoot-off to determine the outcome, Ellison and Kim both shot 10s under tremendous pressure; ultimately, Kim’s was measured closest to the center.
Refocusing his energies on the hunt for the bronze, Ellison then faced Im Dong Hyun (KOR) in his medal match, determined to continue shooting his best. As commentator Crispin Duenas (CAN) noted, “once Brady finds the ten, he usually stays there.” With Im shooting group after group to the right side of his target, Ellison remained focused on the center of the gold, bringing the match to a very quick 6-0 shutout decision, and winning the men’s individual bronze medal.
With Ellison’s win, the United States closes a winning week at the World Archery Championships, bringing home three men’s Olympic quota spots, one women’s spot, compound women’s team gold, compound men’s team gold, compound men’s individual silver, compound men’s and women’s individual bronze medals, and the men’s recurve bronze medal, in addition to two new World Records.
Following Ellison’s match, the day continued with the men’s recurve gold medal match. Kim (KOR) faced teammate Oh Jin Hyek, whom he defeated after a back and forth contest, becoming World Champion with a 6-2 decision, giving Oh the silver. Other highlights of the day included Denisse Lamoen becoming the first Chilean archer ever to win a World Championship title with her win over opponent Kristine Esebua (GEO); and Yuting Fang’s (CHN) win over Bernadette Schuh (FRA) for the women’s recurve bronze.
Korea, France and Italy won the men’s recurve team event, with gold, silver and bronze, respectively, while it was host country Italy again, followed by India and Korea who claimed gold silver and bronze in the women’s recurve team matches. For the mixed team medal matches, Korea, Mexico and Great Britain shot well enough to earn gold, silver and bronze.
Team USA was supported by a full staff at this event, including National Head Coach KiSik Lee, USA Archery Resident Athlete Administrator/Assistant Coach Guy Krueger, Coach Michael Usherenko, Coach Mel Nichols, and Team Leader Cindy Bevilacqua. USA Archery thanks the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Easton Foundations for their support of the U.S. teams at this event.
According to World Archery, more than 600 archers from close to 90 countries shot for world titles, medals and Olympic berths at the World Archery Championships this week. For complete results from today’s matches, visit http://www.archery.org. The next chapter for U.S. archers begins on Tuesday with the first day of competition at the World Archery Para Championships, where Team USA Para Archers will attempt to qualify quota spots for the 2012 Paralympic Games, as well as shooting for world titles.
Teresa Iaconi for USA Archery
Photos, athlete interviews available upon request