Head to head archery: Crispin DUENAS versus Brady ELLISON
Only the top seven archers in the Archery World Cup rankings advance to the Final every year. Nearing the end of 2014, two well-known recurvers are hovering just outside the top spots.
Brady ELLISON sits in 10th place with one stage to go, on 21 points, and Crispin DUENAS is in 13th with 17.
A World Cup stage winner collects 25 points towards their individual ranking, and many of the Asian nations will skip stage four in Wroclaw. (The Eastern teams are concentrating on the Incheon Asian Games.)
No Korean or Japanese athletes, who occupy a number of the high ranking spots, means there’s plenty of points available – and a good finish for Brady or Crispin would give them a shot at the season title in Lausanne.
Crispin is currently ranked sixth in the world, helped by his individual bronze at the World Championships in Belek last year – and top-16 and top-eight performances in the Shanghai and Medellin World Cup stages.
Brady is ranked one place below him in seventh, after picking up solid points in Shanghai (plus a mixed team gold) and Medellin but crashing out of Antalya.
Both archers regularly make the latter stages of individual competition, but Crispin’s medalled on the world stage most recently. (On the American continent, though – it’s a different story. See below!)
Mentored by legendary coach Kisik LEE, Brady has over a dozen World Cup medals including back-to-back Final titles at Edinburgh and Istanbul. Then there was that extraordinary run in 2011, where he took individual gold in the first three stages.
Crispin hasn't picked up a World Cup gong since the Santa Domingo silver in 2009, but that hasn't stopped him notching up a parade of solid placings stretching back to 2006.
Brady and Crispin have met twice so far in 2014 – once indoors and once outdoors – and the year series is even.
Back in January, at the long-running Lancaster Classic indoor event – which features most of the big names in North America – Crispin beat Brady by three points in the final.
But just a couple of weeks ago, at the Pan-American Sports Festival in Toluca, Mexico, Brady recorded a 7-3 set point win over the Canadian.
The pair actually met in the final of the 2011 Pan-American Games, and Toluca was the primary qualifier for the 2015 edition – which is being held in Crispin’s home nation.
(By the way, Brady is reigning Pan Am Games champion. Crispin came in second.)
These two have a serious competitive history at world level events… but looking at the stats, it’s decidedly one-sided. Over six 70-metre head-to-head matches, Brady’s picked up six wins.
One of the most animated archers on the circuit, Brady rides his emotions in competition. He’s been seen to surf on a near-unbeatable wave of confidence, but also takes his losses harder.
Sometimes very hard.
Crispin – the “Black Duck” – maintains a gregarious, chatty, smiling demeanour at tournaments. He’s always ready with a joke and talks to his friends across the field. As well as being a professional archer, he’s also a fully-qualified and sometimes-practising maths and physics teacher.
Having said that, there’s passion in Crispin’s game: when he won bronze in Belek, he dropped to his knees and screamed.
Most archery coaches will identify the most important part of the shot routine as execution. That’s what makes this pair so good: they shoot with clean, consistent authority.
Crispin’s front arm can look a little bit uncomfortable from certain camera angles, but that’s just because his elbow hyperextends. Both his and Brady’s shots are smooth, suave and effective.
Both are active on social media, particularly Twitter (Brady on Instagram as well). Both are particularly good with fans and the media, too.
Brady has received a little more exposure, especially during the last Olympics. That’s mostly due to the nature of the media in the USA, and the silver medal he won at London 2012 with the recurve men’s team.
At the indoor World Cup in Telford this year, Brady spent pretty much all his spare time signing autographs and didn't seem to mind a bit.
That’s the right attitude.
Five of the top-10 recurve men in the World Cup rankings won’t be in Wroclaw due to their Asian Games preparation – so they won’t be collecting any more points this year.
Just a fifth or sixth place individual finish for Brady or Crispin could be enough to secure that spot in Lausanne and a transatlantic trip in September.
Either or both are more than capable – but with the head-to-head record what it is, his experience at the Final and gut feeling, this head to head has to go to…
The pick: Brady
But it’s close!
Competition at the fourth and last stage of the 2014 Archery World Cup in Wroclaw starts on Wednesday 6 August. Check event news, see the participants list and check World Archery’s Facebook and @worldarchery on Twitter for coverage.
Author: The Infinite Curve
The Infinite Curve is a blogger from North London who writes about pretty much anything archery related: from history to athletes and current international competitions.
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