Brady Ellison says men’s team line-up could be the USA’s best yet
As we reach the headline event of a notoriously packed 2019 schedule, archers have arrived in ’s-Hertogenbosch for the upcoming Hyundai World Archery Championships.
The USA team returned home from the Hyundai Archery World Cup stage in Antalya for just one weekend – most to shoot an event in Florida – before an about turn and flight back to Europe.
Many countries at this worlds are focusing on the team round first and foremost.
That’s because the recurve team events will decide the bulk of the places for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that are available at this primary qualification tournament.
“We arrived here on Monday, and since then, we’ve just shot as a team,” he said.
“We shot maybe 1400 arrows in the last four days from Tuesday to Friday. We’ve just had a good team camp, made sure that we’re all fully on this time zone and all of our equipment is ready for everything.”
Ellison has hit a rich run of form of late, which some have compared to his 2010-11 seasons in which he ruled the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit with an iron fist.
“I mean, yeah, I’m just shooting,” said Ellison, laughing, when asked for his opinion on the comparison.
“I’m able to train every day. I'm not just shooting arrows at tournaments and trying to get by. I’m actually training and working, and I haven’t been able to do that for a couple of years. I still feel like I’m still trying to get back into it and get things figured out.”
Recent years have seen Brady struggle with pain in his fingers. A trip to a therapist in Slovenia over the winter seems to have banished those issues to the past – and allowed the four-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion to find a new level to his shooting.
“I’m definitely, in practice, shooting scores better than I ever have before and I think the more I train everything like that, the more consistent I’ll become,” he said.
“I feel pretty good about coming here not only individually, but I think honestly that we have the potential that this is the best team that the USA has ever brought to a tournament.”
That comment comes from a two-time Olympic silver medallist in the team competition.
Brady’s hoping for more team success, with this new line-up, at the Games in Tokyo in 2020. But the first step on that journey is this week – as he, Stanwood and Williams look to qualify a quota here in the Netherlands.
“You know, I think it’s always a little bit nerve-racking but I also feel that we’ve always had teams that are good enough,” he said.
“So by the time we show up we’re not worried about not making it through. I think that after our performance in Turkey, and then how we’ve been shooting in camp that we're not going to worry about it. We all know that we can shoot good enough to go win this thing.”
The top eight recurve men’s teams will qualify full three-athlete quotas at this world championships, along with the four highest-placed individual finishers not in those qualified squads.
“I think that our focus is on trying to win the tournament and if we can make it to the final, the Olympic spots are in the bag anyway,” said Brady.
“So we're not trying to put a lot of pressure on that first match to get our spots. We’re here to try and win the tournament.”
The 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships take place on 10-16 June in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.