Team USA archers delivered a knockout performance at this week’s indoor World Championships, leading the medal count for the event and setting two new world records.
In total, Americans achieved two world championship titles, two team silver medals, three individual silver and three individual bronze this weekend.
The compound men’s senior and junior teams both took gold in their medal matches, returning the world titles to the United States.
Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho), Braden Gellenthien (Hudson, Mass.) and Jesse Broadwater (Jennerstown, Pa.) earned the gold medal and world championship title after defeating a tough squad from Denmark in the senior category, 234-232.
The junior team of Charlie Weinstein (Gardiner, Maine), Bridger Deaton (Pella, Iowa) and Dillon McGeorge (Loganville, Ga.) claimed their own team gold medal after outshooting Italy by a solid 12 points, 233-221.
On the women’s side, compound senior and junior teams scored silver medals – and world records.
Erika Jones (Grand Island, Neb.), Christie Colin (York, Pa.) and Crystal Gauvin (Dayville, Conn.) faced a tough opponent in Mexico for their final match, and came away with a silver by just one point.
Jones also set a new world record individually this week with a 595/600 for her 60 arrow qualification round, shattering the record previously held by teammate Colin for 13 years.
For the juniors, Emily Bee (Howell, Mich.), Lexi Keller (Omro, Wis.) and Brogan Williams (Stillwater, Okla.) claimed a silver medal after a challenging final with Turkey, 224-225. However, the team set a new world record earlier in their matches, with a 235/240 during their team eliminations.
The American archers also claimed several individual medals.
Perhaps one of the most emotional performances for Team USA was a bronze medal victory for Olympic medalist Brady Ellison (Payson, Ariz.), who faced longtime rival Taylor Worth of Australia in the recurve division. Worth is the very athlete who knocked Ellison out of the individual competition at London 2012.
“I wanted to win, and it didn’t matter who it was against,” Ellison said following the 6-2 win. Ellison commented on social media: “Friends, family and everyone on the team here that watched: thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am ending the season with a bronze medal from worlds.”
Colin also competed individually in the women’s compound category, and faced Olympian-turned-compounder Sophie Dodemont of France in the gold medal match. The two archers were evenly matched, and Colin led at the beginning, but Dodemont edged past her, giving Colin the silver medal.
Also chasing gold was compound male archer Wilde, who met Italy’s Sergio Pagni in the compound men’s final. This was a very tight contest, and the match was tied at 4-all when Pagni shot the final ten that gave Wilde the silver medal.
Wilde’s teammate Broadwater competed individually today, in a hairsplitting bronze medal match with Denmark’s teenage superstar Stephan Hansen. The match eventually stood at a 5-5 tie, which went to a single arrow shoot-off to determine the winner. Hansen’s arrow was closer to the center, giving him the bronze.
“[I’m] not pleased at all with how I shot in the final matches…[I’ve] got work to do,” Broadwater commented on social media. “Congrats to Stephan Hansen for bronze…such a fine young man!”
For the compound junior women, Keller shot her way to a bronze medal win over Mimmi Eriksson of Sweden in the individual finals, and Bee earned individual silver after a tough match versus Mariya Shkolna of Ukraine.
On the compound junior men’s side, Deaton clinched his own hardware, a bronze medal, after winning his match versus Stas Modic of Croatia.
Watch all of Team USA’s medal matches from the World Championships.
Logo courtesy USA Archery