USA guaranteed two mixed team medals at season opener in Colombia
The USA will contest both mixed team titles in Medellin after recurve archers Brady Ellison and Casey Kaufhold, and compound shooters Matt Sullivan and Alexis Ruiz made it to the finals at the first stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup.
Ellison and Kaufhold were seeded third after the recurve ranking round with a combined score of 1335 out of a possible 1440 points. They beat Venezuela, Spain and China, all 6-2, to advance through the brackets.
“We ranked good here, like third in the mixed team which is higher than we’ve ranked in a long time,” said Brady. “We had some good matches, some tight matches, and we had to shoot a lot of 10s. We both shot good and… it’s good for the first World Cup of the year.”
Brady, known for his vast experience and four Hyundai Archery World Cup crowns, is joined by a rookie in Kaufhold, who has impressed at her first senior international.
“She’s only going to get better and the more experience and matches that we can win together is going to better prepare her for the worlds and the Games,” he added.
Casey, who is just 15 years old, said shooting with Brady was an honour.
“He teaches me almost everything about anything. He’s such a great influence not only in archery but in life. It’s great being able to spend time with him and compete with him,” she added.
China will face France for the recurve mixed team bronze medal.
The compound final will see the USA’s Matt Sullivan and Alexis Ruiz take to the finals arena to take on Pierre-Julien Deloche and Sophie Dodemont of France. To make the final, the States first had to beat Italy in a shoot-off, and then the Netherlands.
“Starting off was a little shaky. The first match got a lot closer than we wanted to do, but then getting into the second one was a little better,” said Matt. “I feel good about tomorrow; I really like our chances and I think it will be good.”
Matt and Alexis, who are both coached by Mel Nichols, said seeing each other during training throughout the year helped with the team dynamic – despite not practising as a mixed team normally.
Host nation Colombia will contest the compound mixed team bronze medal against the Netherlands.
Competition at the first stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Medellin, Colombia runs until Sunday 28 April.