With three archers competing in medal matches at the finals today in Thailand for the 2013 World Archery Para Championships, Team USA had high hopes for gold.
Paralympic Champion, Jeff Fabry (Tulare, Calif.) competed against Jean-Pierre Antonios (FIN) for the compound men W1 title. Fabry took an immediate strong lead but by the final set, Antonios had closed the gap to only a single point. While Fabry shot three arrows into the gold, Antonios fired off two tens to claim the win. Fabry settled for the silver.
The compound women’s team of Martha Chavez (Lemoore, Calif.), D’Arce Hess (Davis, Calif.), and Ashlee Sheppard (San Francisco, Calif.) shot for gold against defending champion team, the Russian Federation. The match went back and forth for the first half with the US team keeping scores in check. However, a low third set and a miss in the final three arrows clinched the silver for Team USA, leaving the crown with the reigning champions from Russia.
The US men’s compound open team also had a shot at bronze. The match was intense; the American squad of Fabry, Jeff Sena (Lindsay, Calif.) and Lance Thornton (Stotts City, Mo.) had already climbed the ranks from their 6th place qualification score to face the team from Slovakia, and took an impressive three point lead with a 57 in the first six arrows.
Slovakia brought the score back to a tie after the second set and the two teams matched each other arrow for arrow for the next 12 shots. Tied after each of the final three sets, the US and Slovakia entered a heated shoot-off. Slovakia’s 9-9-10 took the win and the bronze medal.
In other big news, British archer John Stubbs became the first athlete at the 2013 World Archery Para Championships to win two gold medals; the individual and team events, and he will still be competing for the mixed team title tomorrow morning.
Competition resumes tomorrow with mixed team finals and recurve team and individual finals. Team USA is headed home with a new world record, two silver medals, world ranking scores, international experience for many up and coming Para archers, and high hopes for Rio 2016.
Live scores and detailed score reports for each archer are available at http://www.worldarchery.org/en-us/worldchampionships/para-bangkok2013/livescoresfinals.aspx.
Logo courtesy USA Archery