Jack Williams awaits first individual gold medal match on world stage
Jack Williams is breaking onto the podium.
The 19-year-old has carved out a role on the USA senior team over the past two seasons and is now up to 12th in the recurve men’s world rankings. He just finished fifth at the Pan American Games in Lima.
On Sunday, he will attempt to win 2019 World Archery Youth Championships in Madrid. All of the world medals Jack has previously won have been in the team event. Now comes a chance to take a big win on his own.
"Yeah, this is my first individual gold medal match and I’m super happy,” he said. “I was nervous but I’ve done this so many times now and even final matches with the [senior] team, so it wasn’t super nervewracking, but I still felt it.”
Experience gained on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit has built him as an archer.
“It’s very helpful here. I’m ready to get out there and shoot a really good match, make my own shot and give my best effort for the world championship,” he said.
There is a person in common with Jack and reigning world number one and senior world champion Brady Ellison. It's the coach that stands behind them both, Kisik Lee.
"Coach Lee is the best in the world. He’s brought Brady to pretty much every single title now, and we are just working together and getting better,” said Jack.
Williams seeded 10th in Madrid. He won six matches to make the final. The highest number of set points his surrendered to an opponent was three – in his third-round match against Adrian Munoz of Puerto Rico.
When Jack arrived in Madrid, he said he expected to make the final. Now it’s just a matter of whether he will win silver or gold in the finals venue, Madrid’s Royal Palace.
“I’m satisfied because I’m walking out with a medal,” he said. “If I win, I am the junior world champion. That will be the icing on the cake.”
Williams said he doesn’t expect to feel additional pressure shooting in the arena.
"I just shoot my shots. I've been to enough World Cups, so it's just as every other tournament,” he explained. “I go out and shoot my shots, whatever the opponent shoots. Either win or lose, as long as I make good, strong shots, I’m happy.”
It’s a plan – and one Williams expects to stick to.
The 2019 World Archery Youth Championships takes place on 19-25 August in Madrid, Spain.