U.S. sends four archers into finals despite upsets

Jun 20 2012 - 10:34pm

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(NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner)
USA’s Erika Anschutz readies her bow during the third stage of the World Archery Cup at the Weber County Fairgrounds in Ogden on Wednesday.
(NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner)
USA’s Erika Anschutz readies her bow during the third stage of the World Archery Cup at the Weber County Fairgrounds in Ogden on Wednesday.

OGDEN -- While top-ranked Brady Ellison dropped a surprise elimination in Wednesday's Archery World Cup competition at the Golden Spike Events Center, four other Americans earned spots in the individual finals with precise shooting and a pair of victories each.

Jennifer Nichols, Reo Wilde, Jamie Van Natta and Christie Colin will shoot for titles this weekend, and also qualified through to the Tokyo World Cup Final.

In all, 26 out of the 28 athletes punched their tickets to Tokyo.

Early in the men's recurve eliminations, top seed Khairul Anuar Mohamad of Malaysia and Ellison, the top-ranked archer in the world, both suffered best out of five sets defeats.

Ellison led Australia's Taylor Worth 4-0 but lost the last three sets to fall 6-4, (28-29, 26-29, 30-29, 29-28, 29-26). Worth went on to defeat another American, Jacob Wukie, 6-4.

The men's recurve finals will be played on Sunday .

In the women's recurve, Nichols earned the right to battle for gold on her home turf after a trio of wins, incluiding nailbiters over Poland's Anna Szukalska and Mexico's Alejandra Valencia. She will meet Kristina Timofeeva of Russia.

"I had no idea the finals in Japan were a possibility for me," Nichols said after Wednesday's action. "I will be getting married in September so I think this is a fantastic wedding gift: an opportunity to shoot the finals."

In men's compound, the U.S. team flexed its strength, paced by Wilde, who tied his own record with a pair of perfect 150 scores. In the semifinal, he topped world champion Christopher Perkins of Canada.

Wilde will meet Peter Elzinga of the Netherlands, who won a semifinal shootout with France's Julien Deloche.

"I put a lot of hard work into it because I really wanted to do well here," said Wilde, of Pocatello, Idaho. "It's been a good year for me."

In women's compound, four Americans battled through the brackets, and Colin and Van Natta emerged as the two finalists for Saturday's gold medal match.

"It's the best and the worst," Van Natta said. "It's good because we shoot with each other all the time so it's very comfortable. It's the worst because we shoot against each other all the time, she is my biggest competition."

Colin topped teammate Erika Anschutz, 145-142 in the quarterfinals, then topped Germany's Kristina Berger in the semifinals.

Van Natta battled past Italy's Laura Longo in a back-and-forth semifinal, winning 144-139.

The competition continues this morning with all team eliminations and team olympic final qualifications.

The U.S. women will try to qualify for the London Olympics at 3 p.m.

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