Valladont pips Brady to top seed as 12 athletes qualify for semifinals in Cortina

6 September 2018
Cortina (ITA)
The top two qualifiers automatically enter the semifinals under new rules used for the first time at a World Archery Field Championships.

France’s Jean-Charles Valladont beat defending gold medallist Brady Ellison of the USA by a point to lead recurve men’s qualifying at the 2018 World Archery Field Championships with 749 out of a possible 864.

Both Valladont and Ellison qualified for the semifinals under a new rule, introduced at this event in Cortina, that sees the top two-ranked athletes in each division after qualification advance automatically to the final four.

“I won in Val D’Isere [in 2012], then got silver in Zagreb [in 2014], then bronze in Dublin [in 2016],” said JC. “So here I think it will either be winning again or taking fourth… 

“We’ll see. For the moment I’m happy.”

The two top men shot the 24-marked targets together because they sat in the same places after the unmarked portion of qualification.

“On the last target, he shot a 6-6-6 and I shot 5-5,” said Valladont. “I knew I had to make a six to be first. I took very long to shoot this last arrow.”

Which turned out to be a six – the highest score available with a single arrow in field archery – and push the Frenchman into the top spot. With the pair finishing one-two, it also ensures that they won’t meet in matchplay before the final, as did happen in 2016.

Germany’s Lisa Unruh was the top-ranked recurve woman on 716 points. She was followed by Jessica Tomasi of Italy on 687.

Toja Ellison retained her place at the top of the compound women’s ranking list, the Slovenian archer totalling 815 for the two-day qualification. Paige Pearce matched her marked score of 401 to jump up from third to second and take the second semifinal spot.

“I’m obviously super excited to be in the top two; that was my goal,” said Pearce, who added that she was struggling with equipment.

Ellison wasn’t as happy with her second-day score as her first – which matched the top men.

“It feels good to make the semis but today actually sucked. The course was a lot harder than yesterday, the distances were maxed-out, we had more up-and-down angles and I think the organisers did a great job,” she said.

Steve Anderson (826) and Domagoj Buden (822) took the two available compound men’s places in the semifinals; Cinzia Noziglia (658), Lina Bjorklund (634), David Garcia Fernandez (687) and Erik Jonsson (674) joined them in the barebow competitions.

Ziga Ravnikar, Mathilde Louis, Jesse Sut, Sara Ret, Eric Esposito and Sara Liljestrom were the top-seeded juniors.

The USA qualified top in the men’s team event – while Italy seeded first in the women’s team, men’s junior team and women’s junior team competitions.

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