ARCHERY: Wijler and Sim win Recurve titles in World Series Final in Las Vegas

Steve Wijler (NED) shoots while Brady Ellison (USA) watches in Las Vegas (Photo: World Archery)

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.