USA para team shoot 2063-point world record
The USA’s Kevin Polish, Ben Thompson and Paralympic Champion Andre Shelby set a new world record, subject to ratification, for the compound men’s open team ranking round with a combined score of 2063 points during the qualification phase of the Juan Enrique Barrios Cup, a para world archery ranking event taking place in Manati, Puerto Rico from 30 April to 5 May.
The three men also seeded in the top three spots individually.
Polish was top with 692 points, Thompson second with 688 points and Shelby, third, had 683 points.
“I’m sure we would have shot a bit higher if the weather conditions would have been better,” said Shelby, who won individual gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and was a popular autograph attraction early during the event: “I did not expect to be so well-known here.”
Athletes experienced both rain and high humidity during the ranking round in Puerto Rico.
“We are very happy to have broken the record,” added top individual seed Polish, who represented the USA at the World Archery Championships in Madrid in 2005 before leaving the sport, then returning and qualifying for the para squad in Rio.
The team’s score was a point higher than Italy’s previous world record, set during the World Archery Championships in Donaueschingen, Germany in 2015.
“When Italy set that record both the [teams from the] USA and Italy beat the previous score,” added Thompson. “We are looking forward to [this year’s World Archery Para Championships in] Beijing, as we are quite likely to be shooting for gold versus the Italians this time.”
The USA team will not shoot any further internationals prior to Beijing due to clashes with the domestic calendar.
The Juan Enrique Barrios Cup 2017 takes place 30 April to 5 May in Manati, Puerto Rico.