Against the background of the largest indoor archery tournament in history with 3,767 entries, the World Archery Indoor World Series concluded with two Recurve finals that were decided in shot-offs.
Veterans Steve Wijler (NED) and American Brady Ellison faced off in the men’s final and the match see-sawed back and forth. Ellison had a 3-1 lead after two ends, Wijler won the third end to tie the score and then Ellison and Wijler traded 30-28 rounds for a 5-5 tie after five ends. The rules called for a one-arrow shoot-off and Wijler took the title by 10-9.
“It is amazing,” said Wijler afterwards. “My shooting lately has been a bit rough and it’s great to be back on the podium again.To be honest, I don’t really care who I’m shooting against. If it’s Brady or whoever, I just want to win. It wasn’t my best match but I did enough.”
In the women’s all-Korean final, the situation was similar with Yeji Sim facing Chae-Young Kang. But the shooting was amazing. Both a nine in the first end, but tied, 29-29. They both shot 10s the rest of the match – 12 in a row for each – to finish five ends in a 5-5 tie. Then came the one-arrow shoot-off and it was Sim who hit the 10 and Kang who hit nine to decide the match.
“I was quite nervous and I didn’t know I could shoot that many 10s. I was competing with my teammate so it was less stressful, but I wanted to shoot well,” said Sim.
American Casey Kaufhold, 14, did very well and got to the bronze medal, but lost, 6-4, to Korea’s Chaeyun Kim.
The Compound finals were not quite as close. Russia’s Viktoria Balzhanova beat Sarah Prieels (BEL) by 146-144 and American Kris Schaff dropped just a single point in his final over Stephan Hansen (DEN), 149-146. Braden Gellenthien of the U.S. got third.
The top three in each division received prize money of CHF 8,000-4,000-1,500. Summaries:
World Archery Indoor World Series Final
Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) ~ 8-9 February 2019
(Full results here)
Men/Recurve: 1. Steve Wijler (NED); 2. Brady Ellison (USA); 3. Byeong-Yeon Min (KOR); 4. Bonchan Ku (KOR). Semis: Wijler d. Ku, 6-0; Ellison d. Min, 6-4. Third: Min d. Ku, 6-2. Final: Wijler d. Ellison, 6-5 (10-9 shoot-off).
Men/Compound: 1. Kris Schaff (USA); 2. Stephan Hansen (DEN); 3. Braden Gellenthien (USA); 4. Mike Schloesser (NED). Semis: Schaff d. Schloesser, 149-149 (10-10 shoot-off); Hansen d. Gellenthien, 150-149. Third: Gellenthien d. Schloesser, 149-147. Final: Schaff d. Hansen, 149-146.
Women/Recurve: 1. Yeji Sim (KOR); 2. Chae-Young Kang (KOR); 3. Chaeyun Kim (KOR); 4. Casey Kaufhold (USA). Semis: Sim d. Kim, 6-5 (10-10 shoot-off); Kang d. Kaufhold, 6-2. Third: Kim d. Kaufhold, 6-4. Final: Sim d. Kang, 6-5 (10-9 shoot-off).
Women/Compound: 1. Viktoria Balzhanova (RUS); 2. Sarah Prieels (BEL); 3. Tanja Jensen (DEN); 4. Paige Pearce (USA). Semis: Balzhanova d. Pearce, 148-147; Prieels d. Jensen, 148-147. Third: Jensen d. Pearce, 149-143. Final: Balhanova d. Prieels, 146-144.