Team Hoyt, World Archery & USA Archery staff (Photos: Dean ALBERGA, World Archery)
Team Hoyt’s Brady Ellison this weekend became the first archer in history to win three consecutive World Cup stages. No stranger to pressure, the 2008 Olympian shot his gold medal match successfully versus fellow Hoyt shooter Dmytro Hrachov (UKR), giving up only two set. Ellison shot his way to his third gold medal in less than two hours in a night that was nothing short of spectacular for Team USA.
In the men’s recurve team bronze medal event, Ukraine and India faced off. The all-Hoyt Ukrainian team featured Viktor Ruban, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist, Dmytro Hrachov and Markiyan Ivashko. Though India led the match initially, once again the Ukrainian team came from behind to clinch the bronze medal, 222-218.
The all-Hoyt U.S. men's recurve team then took to the field to contest the gold medal match against China. The team of Ellison, Jake Kaminski (CA/USA) and Joe Fanchin (CA/USA) responded to the excited cheering of the crowd, as the U.S. team took a three point lead versus China at the half. With three solid tens as their finish in the third end, the U.S. gained a seven point lead, and were unstoppable through the final end, taking the gold medal by four points, 220-216.
In the mixed team gold medal final, Brady Ellison once again returned to the field, this time versus India. Though India opened with the lead in this match, the USA racked up a ten point lead and took the second gold medal of the evening with a 145-136 win.
In the individual matches, the women opened the evening, with a bronze medal contest between Hoyt shooters Alejandra Valencia (MEX) and Kateryna Palekha (UKR). This back and forth featured strong shooting from both archers, but Valencia took six set points to Palekha's four, winning the bronze medal for Mexico.
The men's recurve bronze medal match was contested between Team Hoyt’s Joe Fanchin (USA), in his first individual medal match at a World Cup event, versus Hoyt veteran Markiyan Ivashko, part of the Ukrainian team that had such a solid performance at this competition. Ivashko began with an initial 2-0 lead, but Fanchin was able to post high enough scores to take the second set. A tie in the third set resulted in a 3-3 draw, but Fanchin was able to come back in the final two sets to take a 7-3 win for his first ever individual World Cup medal.
The finale of the evening was, fittingly, the gold medal matchup between Team Hoyt shooters Ellison and Hrachov. Ellison, seeking to defend his number one world ranking, ended the first set in a draw with his opponent as the wind picked up. With a 28 to his opponent's 27 on the second end, Ellison took a 3-1 lead, but another tie brought the score to 4-2. Knowing he had to take the final set, Ellison showed the determination he has demonstrated throughout the season, winning the gold medal with a 6-2 victory.
When asked how he felt about winning his third consecutive World Cup stage, Ellison noted that the best part of it was winning the medal on U.S. soil. "That's what makes it special for me," noted the young Olympian, after taking three gold medals in less than two hours. "Going out there and every match, winning the gold medal with the USA crowd behind us, that's what makes it special - you can't ask for better than that."