Heading into the 2019 World Archery Championships in s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, the United States had not won the men’s world title in Olympic (Recurve) archery since Rick McKinney doubled in 1983 and 1985.
It took 34 years, but Brady Ellison became the 10th American man to win the World Championships, and the first in the 21st Century!
It wasn’t easy, as he dueled with first-time finalist Khairul Anuar Mohamad of Malaysia, who was going to win the country’s first-ever World Championships medal regardless of the outcome. They shot evenly through three ends – 27-27, 29-29, 28-28 – then Ellison took the lead with a 29-28 win in end four. But Mohamad drew even, 28-26, in the fifth, requiring a shoot-off for the world title.
Ellison, now 30, shot 10, Mohamad shot eight, and Ellison had his first World Championship.
“I’m so excited. I’m really trying to hold it in. I’m trying really hard not to cry,” said Ellison. “It feels good, it really does. That match was a lot tougher inside the ring than I thought it was going to be, condition-wise. I shot the one good arrow that I needed in the shoot-off and that’s what it came down to.
“I knew I had to have it. And I knew if I hit it, I probably wasn’t going to go into a second shoot-off. If I could get that arrow and stick it good, that I was gonna win it. I was like, I know exactly where this is going to go. Just make a good shot, let it break low and hit X. As soon as it hit – I was like, that’s good enough.
“This is probably the biggest one I’ve won. It’s bigger than my Fields, it’s probably bigger than my bronze at the Games at this moment. Now I need that Olympic gold medal. I need a gold. Yes, I want that Olympic gold and I’m going to get it next year.”
Another first came for Ruman Shana, whose bronze medal is Bangladesh’s first at the Worlds as well.
A day earlier, 21-year-old American Jimmy Lutz completed his second international tournament in the men’s Compound Division … and walked away with not only his second win, but his first World Championship.
“It’s crazy,” said Lutz after winning the gold medal. “I don’t know [how I feel] yet. Still trying to let it sink in. But I’ve worked hard for it. I’m really happy,” said Lutz.
He also made history, as the last U.S. Compound champ was Reo Wilde, back in 2009.
“It’s just awesome to be up next to his name. It would be cool to be remembered as someone like Reo. It feels great to be able to share a title with him.”
Lutz shot an outstanding 148/150 to win the title over Norway’s Anders Faugstad (144). He’s the fifth American men to win the world title in Compound.
The U.S. almost won a third individual medal as Paige Pearce won the silver in women’s Compound, going down to the final arrow against Russian Natalia Avdeeva before falling, 142-141.
The women’s Recurve final was another shocker, as Chinese Taipei’s Chien-Ying Lei defeated Korea’s Chae-Young Kang. They split the four ends and went to a shoot-off, with Kang sending off her worst arrow of the day, a seven. Lei shot nine and became the first from her country to win the women’s title.
Kang, who has been the best women’s archer in the world this year, said afterwards, “I will use this experience for the future. It’s true that there is a lot of pressure from the nation, but we try to use that as motivation, rather than pressure.
“I had two goals here. The first goal was to get the Olympic quota, and the second one was to win. So we achieved one goal. My personal goal is still to get three gold medals at the Olympics.”
Korean women had been dominant, winning eight of nine world titles between 1989-2005, but since then have won only twice in the next seven events, including this year.
Taipei’s Lei also was a member of the winning Recurve women’s team, while China took the men’s Team Recurve event. Summaries:
World Archery Championships
s-Hertogenbosch (NED) ~ 10-16 June 2019
(Full results here)
Men/Recurve: 1. Brady Ellison (USA); 2. Khairul Anuar Mohamad (MAS); 3. Ruman Shana (BAN); 4. Mauro Nespoli (ITA). Semis: Mohamad d. Shana, 7-3; Ellison d. Nespoli, 7-1. Third: Shana d. Nespoli, 7-1. Final: Ellison d. Mohamad, 5-4 (shoot-off: 10-8).
Men/Team Recurve: 1. China (Wei, Feng, Ding); 2. India (Rai, Jadhav, Das); 3. Korea (W-S Lee, S-Y Lee, W. Kim); 4. Netherlands (Van den Berg, Van der Ven, Wijler). Semis: China d. Korea, 6-2; India d. Netherlands, 5-4 (29-28). Third: Korea d. Netherlands, 5-3. Final: China d. India, 6-2.
Men/Compound: 1. James Lutz (USA); 2. Anders Faugstad (NOR); 3. Jong-Ho Kim (KOR); 4. Braden Gellenthien (USA). Semis: Lutz d. Gellenthien, 148-145; Faugstad d. Kim, 147-146. Third: Kim d. Gellenthien, 150-146. Final: Lutz d. Faugstad, 148-144.
Men/Team Compound: 1. Korea (J-H Kim, Yang, Choi); 2. Turkey (Araz, Cagiran, Yetim); 3. Netherlands (Schloesser, Elzinga, Pater); 4. Colombia (Arenas, Cardona, Munoz). Semis: Korea d. Colombia, 238-230; Turkey d. Netherlands, 237-229. Third: Netherlands d. Colombia, 231-230. Final: Korea d. Turkey, 235-233.
Women/Recurve: 1. Chien-Ying Lei (TPE); 2. Chae Young Kang (KOR); 3. Mi-Sun Choi (KOR); 4. Michelle Kroppen (GER). Semis: Kang d. Kroppen, 6-2; Lei d. Choi, 6-0. Third: Choi d. Kroppen, 6-0. Final: Lei d. Kang, 6-5 (shoot-off: 9-7).
Women/Team Recurve: 1. Chinese Taipei (Lei, Tan, Peng); 2. Korea (Kang, Choi, Chang); 3. Great Britain (Bettles, Pitman, Folkard); 4. China (Zheng, Meng, An). Semis: Korea d. Great Britain, 5-1; Chinese Taipei d. China, 5-1. Third: Great Britain d. China, 5-4; Final: Chinese Taipei d. Korea, 6-2.
Women/Compound: 1. Natalia Avdeeva (RUS); 2. Paige Pearce (USA); 3. Jyothi Surekha Vennam (IND); 4. Yesim Bostan (TUR). Semis: Pearce d. Vennam, 143-140; Avdeeva d. Bostan, 149-145. Third: Vennam d. Bostan, 145-145 (shoot-off: 10-9). Final: Avdeeva d. Pearce, 142-141.
Women/Team Compound: 1. Chinese Taipei (Y-H Chen, L-J Chen, Huang); 2. United States (Paige Pearce, Alexis Ruiz, Cassidy Cox); 3. India (Kirar, Kaur, Vennam); 4. Turkey (Bostan, Elmaagacli, Tomruk). Semis: Chinese Taipei d. Turkey, 225-222; U.S. d. India, 227-226. Third: India d. Turkey, 229-226. Final: Chinese Taipei d. U.S., 229-224.
Mixed/Recurve Team: 1. Chae-Young Kang/Woo-Seok Lee (KOR); 2. Gabriela Bayardo/Sjef van den Berg (NED); 3. Vanessa Landi/Mauro Nespoli (ITA); 4. Chien-Ying Lei/Chih-Chun Tang (TPE). Semis: Kang/Lee d. Landi/Nespoli, 5-1; Bayardo/Van den Berg d. Lei/Tang, 5-1. Third: Landi/Nespoli d. Lei/Tang, 5-3. Final: Kang/Lee d. Bayardo/van den Berg, 6-0.
Mixed/Compound Team: 1. Chaewon So/Jongho Kim (KOR); 2. Sophie Dodemont/Pierre-Julien Deloche (FRA); 3. Yi-Hsuan Chen/Chieh-Lun Chen (TPE); 4. Sara Lopez/Daniel Munoz (COL). Semis: So/Kim d. Lopez/Munoz, 159-157; Dodemont/Deloche d. Chen/Chen, 156-154. Third: Chen/Chen d. Lopez/Munoz, 156-155. Final: So/Kim d. Dodemont/Deloche, 159-153.