ARCHERY: U.S.’s Kaufhold, 14, wins women’s Indoor World Series opener

World Cadet Indoor Record holder Casey Kaufhold (USA)

A new shooting star for the United States?

Casey Kaufhold, all of 14 years old, made an impressive debut on the international stage, winning the first stage of the World Archery Indoor World Series GT Open in Strassen (LUX).

She led the Recurve qualifying at 589/600 and set a World Cadet Record for the qualifying round at 18 m, saying “I feel ready [to compete at the senior level], I feel mature enough, and I can handle the pressure and shoot well under these circumstances.”

She sure did. The daughter of parents who have an archery supply store in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, she steamed through the elimination rounds on Sunday, winning her first three matches by 6-0 scores, then won her semifinal from Britain’s Sarah Bettles, 6-2 and the final from former Mexican star (now shooting for the Netherlands), Gabriela Bayarado, by a 6-5 score. Kaufhold had plenty of nerve in the final, coming back from 2-0, 3-1 and 5-3 deficits to tie the match in the fifth end and forcing a shoot-off. She scored a 10 to Bayardo’s nine and took her first international title.

“Coming into the competition, I knew that I had the skill to come here and do well,” she said. “I just applied everything that I knew form-wise and mental-wise to the competition and it ended up with a good outcome.

“It feels really good. I am very happy and proud that I could win this for my country, my team and my family.”

Dutch star Steve Wijler won the men’s Recurve division with a 7-1 triumph over Britain’s Tom Hall, while Domagoj Buden (CRO) and Toja Ellison (SLO) won the Compound divisions. The Indoor World Series will continue next week in Macau (CHN). Summaries:

World Archery Indoor World Cup
Strassen (LUX) ~ 23-25 November 2018
(Full results here)

Men’s Recurve: 1. Steve Wijler (NED); 2. Tom Hall (GBR); 3. Rick van der Ven (NED); 4. Dong-Nam Gu (KOR). Semis: Wijler d. van der Ven, 7-3; Hall d. Gu, 6-5 (10-9). Third: van der Ven d. Gu, 6-2. Final: Wijler d. Hall, 7-1.

Men’s Compound: 1. Domagoj Buden (CRO); 2. Stephan Hansen (DEN); 3. Sergio Pagni (ITA); 4. Peter Elzinga (NED). Semis: Buden d. Pagni, 148-147; Hansen d. Elzinga, 148-146. Third: Pagni d. Elzinga, 148-146. Final: Buden d. Hansen, 147-147 (10-10, closest to the center).

Women’s Recurve: 1. Casey Kaufhold (USA); 2. Gabriela Bayardo (NED); 3. Sarah Bettles (GBR); 4. Aida Roman (MEX). Semis: Kaufhold d. Bettles, 6-2; Bayardo d. Roman, 6-4. Third: Bettles d. Roman, 6-5 (10-9). Final: Kaufhold d. Bayardo, 6-5 (10-9).

Women’s Compound: 1. Toja Ellison (SLO); 2. Viktoria Balzhanova (RUS); 3. Tanja Jensen (DEN); 4. Cassidy Cox (USA). Semis: Ellison d. Jensen, 149-147; Balzhanova d. Cox, 146-143. Third: Jensen d. Cox, 145-143. Final: Ellison d. Balzhanova, 145-143.