Wroclaw finals preview: Compound Saturday
Two of the top-ranked compound men’s team in the world face off in the Wroclaw gold final, while a rematch of the Asian Games final headlines compound Saturday at Wroclaw 2015.
Compound men’s individual gold (afternoon session): Esmaeil Ebadi / AbHishek Verma
This is the second time these two archers have faced off in a gold medal match on the international stage, after the Asian Games individual final in 2014 - the first time compound had been included in the event.
Ebadi won the Asian Games, and looks in blazing form at this World Cup. Verma, a mixed team finalist in Wroclaw last year, came through a shoot-off against Reo Wilde to get to the final, and will of course be keen to avoid another defeat to his regional nemesis.
Both men get to shoot on this stage before this final, in team events, so no advantage there. Looking forward to what could be a classic.
Compound men’s individual bronze (afternoon session): Steve Anderson / Martin Damsbo
The newest addition to the storied USA team, Steve Anderson faces off against the vastly experienced Martin Damsbo, the 2013 Archery World Cup Final Champion.
This is Steve’s first time on an individual World Cup stage (after taking team gold in Antalya with the USA squad), and he has been consistent. But Martin outscored him in the early rounds, was going strong in his semi against Ebadi before unluckily suffering a release failure, and is looking as hard to beat as ever.
Compound women’s individual gold (afternoon session): Alejandra Usquiano / Natalia Avdeeva
Two old hands go head-to-head here: Usquiano, last year’s Pan-Am champion and the World Cup Final Champion of 2013, versus the wily Russian Avdeeva, who long ago ran out of room in her trophy cabinet for World Cup medals - taking five alone last year.
Avdeeva is in formidable form, scoring consistently high in all her rounds, whereas Usquiano just scraped past Sarah Prieels and Mariia Vinogradova in two shoot-offs on her way to the finals. Usquiano would love to get back to her World Cup form of previous years, and it could be a classic match, but Avdeeva seems to be the pick here.
Compound women’s individual bronze (afternoon session): Linda Ochoa / Crystal Gauvin
The hugely experienced Ochoa, a multiple world cup medallist going back to 2008, faces off against Crystal Gauvin, the world championship silver medallist in only her second outdoor season. Difficult to pick a winner, but we are going with Gauvin under pressure.
Compound mixed team gold (afternoon session): Iran / Denmark
The first of two appearances today for Esmaeil Ebadi, here partnered with Afsanah Sahfielavijeh. Iran beat the favourites USA on the way here by a single point, which bodes well, but the Danish pairing of new world champion Stephan Hansen and Sarah Holst Sonnichsen have looked rock solid and have posted more consistent scores this week.
Denmark also won gold in Antalya in June with Tanja Jensen partnering Hansen.
Compound men’s team gold: USA / Denmark
The first and second seeds, and two of the top three world ranked teams, deservedly battle here.
The USA will be incredibly keen to take a gold medal here and restore some pride after a disastrous world championships that saw them out of the running early due to a scorecard error. They have faced off with Denmark many times – the Danish men are defending champions here, and world championship bronze medalists to go with their silver from Antalya this year.
Both teams put in equal high scores of 232 in their semis. Hard to pick a winner here, one to really enjoy.
Compound women’s team gold (morning session): Russia / Italy
Russia got a bye straight into the semi-finals and only had to shoot once, but they posted a 226: The highest score of the day. They face the Italian women in Italy’s only gold medal match of the weekend (the recurve teams are in two bronze medal matches).
The Azzuri had a strong semi, but given the world championship performance and the crushing qualification form it’s hard to see this medal going west rather than east.