OGDEN -- This year's Archery World Cup stage has a different feel than in the past two years: It's at a new venue; the competitors are vying to qualify for this summer's London Olympics; and it's the last time the event will be in Ogden -- at least for the foreseeable future.
By about 2:30 p.m. today, the full Olympic field of 128 archers -- split evenly between men and women -- will be known. Each of the 12 qualifying countries for the team competition can bring a maximum of three men and three women. Individual competitors will round out the field, with some athletes competing in both team and individual events.
Eight teams qualified at last year's World Championships in Italy, and three more qualified Thursday in Ogden. As the host, Great Britain is automatically in.
Denise Parker, chief executive of USA Archery, said there was more pressure on the athletes in Ogden this week than there will be in London because there are only a few Olympic spots left.
"Really, there's much more pressure here," Parker said. "That's how tight it is."
The American men's team was already known heading into this week, but only one member of the women's team had secured a spot before Thursday, she said.
The rest of the U.S. women's squad successfully qualified in afternoon action, and they'll make their first team appearance since 2004.
The archery events at the 2012 Summer Olympics are scheduled to be held over an eight-day period from July 27 to Aug. 3. All events will take place at Lord's Cricket Ground in London in front of a temporary stand built to accommodate 6,500 spectators.
While the World Cup features both recurve and compound archery, the Olympics are recurve only.
This weekend's World Cup stage finals at Lindquist Field will have no Olympic ramifications, but competitors will still be bringing their best game in a fight for a spot on the World Cup podium. The World Cup finals will be held in Japan in September.
In 2010 and 2011, the preliminary rounds were on the campus of Weber State University. This year they were moved to the Golden Spike Event Center for a couple of reasons, said Bob Romero, president of the Ogden World Cup organizing committee.
First, construction activity on the Weber State campus conflicted with the World Cup schedule. Also, because of the Olympic qualifying aspect, a larger venue was needed.
"It's two events in one, so we needed room for more targets," Romero said.
He said the committee currently has no plans to bid on another three-year run. So Sunday's medal ceremony will mark the end of the World Cup in Ogden, at least for now.
"We've got some other commitments over the next few years," he said. "If another country falls short, we could fill in, but we will bid on it again for sure at some point in the future."
He said Ogden has been voted the number one site on tour by the athletes all three years.
Didier Mieville, marketing and communication director for International Archery Federation, said he would like to see the World Cup return to Ogden.
"Every time, it has been a great success," Mieville said. "The U.S. has a good tradition of hosting events, and it has been very well set up each time."
The World Cup has also been good for the local community, especially in the way it brings the international community together and allows the Ogden area to show the world what it has to offer, said Sara Toliver, president of the Ogden/Weber Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"It's been a great event for us," Toliver said. "We understand, but we're disappointed to see it go away."