Torino, ITALY – The archers of the U.S. World Archery Para Championships team “came out swinging,” in the words of team member Lee Ford, and shot well enough to achieve strong individual and team qualification standings last week. Despite some difficult, close matches in individual eliminations, Team USA came home with the hardware, delivering the silver medal in the men’s team compound W1 event.
For the men’s individual compound W1 category, it was Paralympic medalist Jeff Fabry who led the U.S. team, qualifying third with a 1338 after a back and forth battle for the top three spots. Qualifying first in this category was Finland’s Jean Pierre Antonios, followed by David Drahoninsky (CZE). U.S. teammates Charles Lear, qualifying 12th with a 1206, and Jerry Shields, in 18th with a 1057, together with Fabry, propelled the U.S. team to another second place qualification; Czech Republic was the top seed, followed by the U.S. and then Japan in the third spot.
Facing Japan in team eliminations, the trio of Fabry, Lear and Shields was able to post a strong eighteen point victory over the opposing team, advancing 193-175. In the gold medal match, Team USA faced the number one ranked team from Czech Republic, who proved to be evenly matched with the U.S. By just one point, Czech Republic was able to edge out the U.S. team, taking the gold and giving USA the silver, 187-186.
In the men’s individual compound, it was Lewis Denton leading the charge, qualifying 9th with a 1344, followed by Eric Bennett in 16th with a 1337, and John Bellora in 23rd with a 1329. Philippe Horner (SUI) and Ouk Soo Lee (KOR) led this category. Together, the U.S. team succeeded in achieving a second place qualification for the United States, behind Korea and ahead of the Czech Republic.
For the women’s individual compound, the USA’s sole entry was Martha Barnett, who had a solid World Championships debut with a 32nd place qualification, scoring an 1199. This group was lead by Great Britain’s Danielle Brown and Zandra Reppe of Sweden.
In the men’s individual recurve W1/W2 group, the USA was represented by Russell Wolfe, who qualified 28th with a 1040. This category was led by Young Joo Jung (KOR), Lung Hui Tseng (TPE) and Oscar De Pellegrin (ITA). For the standing recurve men, Michael Lukow led the U.S. team, qualifying 28th with 1108; he was followed by Travis Aken in 48th with a 990, and Steve Bosson, 49th with a 976. China’s Zhi Dong led this group, with Mikhail Oyun (RUS) in second, and his teammate Timur Tuchinov finishing third. Together, the U.S. team qualified 18th; the category was led in team qualifications by Russia, Korea and France.
The final group to shoot their qualification round was the women’s individual recurve – standing category, with D’Arce Hess leading the charge for the United States, qualifying 16th with an 1108. Team USA’s Lee Ford qualified close behind, in 18th with 1102, while Natalie Wells qualified 21st with 1091. This category was led by China’s Fangxia Gao, Ran Sook Kim (KOR) and Kay Lucas (GBR). Together, the U.S. women’s team qualified number eight, with Korea, China and Iran taking the top three spots.
In individual eliminations for recurve men’s W1, Team USA’s Wolfe advanced as far as the 1/16, after stopping Petros Lappas (CYR) in the 1/24; Wolfe was stopped by Paul Brown (GBR), the fifth ranked archer. In the recurve men’s standing group, USA’s Akin was stopped in the 1/24 by Sakon Inkaew (THA); Chayka Roman (UKR) edged out Bosson in the same round, while teammate Lukow won his 1/24 and 1/16 matches, only to be stopped in the 1/8 by Turkey’s Zafer Korkmaz.
For the recurve women’s standing category, Hess fared well in her 1/24 match, besting Bohdana Nikitenko (UKR) to advance to the 1/16. Top seed Gao was difficult to stop in the 1/8, advancing past Hess. Teammate Wells was eliminated in her 1/24 match, in which she faced China’s Huilian Yan. Team USA’s Ford posted a solid win in her 1/24 round versus Natalia Pavuk (UKR); she went on to face number two ranked Ran Sook Kim (KOR). Though Ford took one set, Kim eventually claimed the win.
Team USA’s Bennett, shooting in the compound men’s open 1/24, took his first match with a victory over Siu Wing Wong (HKG); in the 1/16, Bennett had a very close match with Leos Bartos (CZE), who was able to win the meeting by two set points. Denton also fared well in his 1/24, defeating Oermulf Oermen (NOR) to advance to the 1/16, where Denton had a tiebreaker loss to Tom Vangen (NOR) on a shoot-off. Team USA’s Bellora, byed into the 1/24, was stopped by Hakan Tornstrom (SWE) by just two set points.
In the compound women’s open category, USA’s Barnett was strong enough to advance past Italy’s Santina Pertesana in the 1/24th; however, Barnett met Great Britain’s Danielle Brown in the 1/16 and was unable to advance.
Team USA’s Fabry led the way for the compound men’s open W1 category; he took a strong 7-1 victory in his 1/8 match versus Gabriele Ferrandi (ITA). However, Fabry was defeated in the quarterfinals by Great Britain’s John Cavanagh after winning one set and tying a second. Jerry Shields won his own 1/24 match after a tied score and one arrow shoot-off with Masakazu Nishiwaki (JPN); in the 1/16, he faced number two seed Drahoninsky, whom Shields was unable to stop. Team USA’s Lear, byed into the 1/8 round, faced Norbert Murphy of Canada who won the meeting and advanced.
In the team events, the U.S. team competed in the women’s team recurve open category, in which Ford, Hess and Wells faced the team from Japan, who advanced after a 186-160 victory. In the compound men’s open category, the team of Bellora, Bennett and Denton won their first match versus Japan, 215-211; they were unable to stop the trio from Great Britain, however, and retired after a 221-216 loss. Barnett and Denton competed in the compound open mixed team category; facing third-ranked Russia, the U.S. team was unable to advance.
Complete results, including medal lists, are available at http://www.archery.org.
The U.S. team was supported by a full coaching staff, including National Para Head Coach Randi Smith; Joseph Asay, Craig Elder, Paul Miller and Martin Rogers. The team was also supported by Team Leader Kimberly Bartkowski. USA Archery thanks the Easton Foundations and the U.S. Olympic Committee for their support of the U.S. team at the World Archery Para Championships.