Toja Ellison matches top man at world field with unmarked PB of 414 points

5 September 2018
Cortina (ITA)
Domagoj Buden and Toja Ellison shot course-leading scores on day one of the world field.

Toja Ellison, Domagoj Buden, Brady Ellison, Lisa Unruh, David Garcia Fernandez and Cinzia Noziglia sat top of the senior divisions after the first day of qualification – consisting of 24 unmarked targets – at the 2018 World Archery Field Championships in Cortina, Italy.

Top compound woman Toja matched the top compound men’s score of 414 out of the possible 432 points.

“The score is high, my highest in field,” she said. “I had fun. I enjoyed my group, the course, the mountain. I shot really well. My shots felt good and I was judging obviously decent because I didn’t shoot a single four.”

Men’s leader Buden was the only other compound archer not to miss the yellow – the middle two rings scoring five and six – over the 72 unmarked arrows.

“It feels a bit weird because I felt like I left at least 10 points on the field,” he said. “I ranged about two or three targets wrong, that’s my mistake. I made a few bad shots – and one of the targets, I had problems with my hand as I broke it not long ago.”

The background of the Dolomites in Italy’s northeastern Alps made for an impressive backdrop – but a tough day of walking.

Many of the top scorers came off the Cortina courses frustrated, commenting that they’d not scored as highly as they should have, and in the evening the practice range was full with archers preparing for the second phase of the competition.

After the 24 marked targets on day two of qualification, the top two seeds in each category automatically qualify for the semifinals. The subsequent 20 are split into groups for a shoot-up elimination phase to determine who joins them.

It is the first time this new competition format has been used at a World Archery Field Championships.

“It’s just step up and shoot [for the marked],” said defending recurve men’s gold medallist Brady Ellison. “You don’t have to judge, just focus on doing better shots.”

Other noticeable results on the first day of competition included Jean-Charles Valladont sitting in second in the recurve men’s list, despite a miss and a pair of twos; World Games Champion Noziglia’s 15-point lead at the head of the barebow women’s field, and first-time field championship shooter (and world number one) Mike Schloesser’s fourth-place performance in the compound men.

The 2018 World Archery Field Championships takes place in Cortina, Italy on 4-9 September.