USA reclaims compound cadet team titles at world youth championships
Compound cadet women’s and men’s teams from the USA beat Russia and Denmark, respectively, to win the 2019 World Archery Youth Championship titles on Saturday morning in front of Madrid’s Royal Palace.
It was particularly important for the girls. After holding the cadet world title since its introduction in 2006, the USA cadets lost the gold in Rosario in 2017.
World record holder Faith Miller, Raegan Bender and Makenzie Weatherspoon entered the arena in Madrid to face Arina Cherkezova, Darya Perfilyeva and Nika Snetkova of Russia with a chance to return to world champion status.
“It's a huge accomplishment for all of us,” said Miller. “We worked so hard and so dedicated to the sport, and it's incredible to get here.”
The US girls opened the match with a 57. Russia, with three arrows to go in the first end, was twice shown a yellow card by the judge. The clock was ticking and by the time Perfilyeva wanted to shoot the team’s last arrow, it had run out.
Russia entered the second end with a 10 point deficit, 57-47. Three ends of 57, 57 and 55 couldn’t make a dent in the US lead as Miller, Bender and Weatherspoon cruised to victory with ends of 58, 56 and 54.
“Personally, I just had a lot of confidence that we were going to do well,” said Weatherspoon. “Definitely, their missed shot helped reassure us we might make a few mistakes and still stay fine, but celebrating too early would be upsetting.”
“Even the last arrow can change the whole match so even when you have one arrow to shoot, shoot it as you know how to do.”
The States secured its second team gold with cadet men Matthew Russell, Sawyer Sullivan and Cole Zeug. They beat a first-seeded Danish squad represented by Christoffer Berg, Tore Bjarnarson and Mathias Fullerton.
After both teams opened with six-arrow series of 56 points, the USA steadily opened an advantage, which increased end on end. The US took the match by four, 227-223.
“I’m so excited. It's awesome! Absolutely, the girls’ gold motivated us more. We wanted that gold really bad,” said Sullivan. “I knew there was a chance to win gold when I arrived in Madrid, but we had to work hard for it.”
Turkey beat Canada, 233-231, to the bronze medal prior to Saturday’s final.
The US secured a third medal when Cole Zeug and Makenzie Weatherspoon finished runner-up in the compound cadet mixed team final. The pair fell to Mexico’s Dafne Quintero and Sebastian Garcia by two, 154-152.
The 2019 World Archery Youth Championships takes place on 19-25 August in Madrid, Spain.