Jimmy Lutz becomes fifth compound men’s world champion from the USA
James Lutz, 21, has become the first USA compound man to hold the individual world title in a decade after beating Norwegian 19-year-old Anders Faugstad in the final of the 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.
“It’s crazy. 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. The last US world champion in this category was Reo Wilde in Ulsan in 2009.
“It’s just awesome to be up next to [Reo’s] name. It would be cool to be remembered as someone like Reo. It feels great to be able to share a title with him.”
A month ago, Lutz was unknown on the international circuit.
He shot his first international tournament at the third stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya, Turkey – and won it with a perfect 150-point final.
Jimmy then qualified just 23rd in ’s-Hertogenbosch. But he scythed through the brackets to set-up a gold medal match with another surprise finalist, 68th seed Anders Faugstad.
Despite the crowd, the stage and the importance of the moment, Lutz looked so calm in the arena.
He dropped one nine in the first end and another in the fourth but that was all. The 21-year-old, as coach and teammate Braden Gellenthien stood behind him, shot 148 points in his first world championship final to beat Faugstad’s 145 and take individual gold.
“I just don’t think nerves really hit me like they do some people. I’m usually just a pretty relaxed person,” said the new world champion. “I dropped a couple of points that I really didn’t want to. But I’m confident with my bow. I mean there’s a lot of people out there but I just try to tune that out and focus on one arrow at a time.”
Faugstad is the first Norwegian archer to climb the world championship podium since 2005.
Fittingly, the man coaching him in the final was the very same person that took the compound men’s silver medal in Madrid 14 years ago, Morten Boe.
Top seed Kim Jongho won the compound men’s bronze medal in ’s-Hertogenbosch.
He shot a perfect 150 points for the 15-arrow 50-metre match in the final to beat three-time world championship medallist Gellenthien.
“I’d already tried the final stage before, so I was quite confident,” said Jongho – who shot in team, mixed team and individual medal matches at these championships.
“Braden is one of my favourite archers, I learned some lessons watching him on YouTube, so it’s such an honour for me to shoot with these big archers at the world championships. Everything is incredible and honourable for me.”
Kim Jongho leaves these world championships with gold medals in two team events – men’s and mixed – and an individual bronze.
The world number 12 said it was an honour to shoot with the world’s best archers at these championships. But, without a doubt, he is now one of them.
The 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships take place on 10-16 June in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.