U.S. archers defeat Canada for team compound gold

Jun 23 2012 - 11:03pm

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(NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner) American Rodger Willett Jr. competes against the Canadian team in the gold-medal final of the men’s compound even at the third stage of the Archery World Cup at Lindquist Field in Ogden on Saturday.
(NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner) Russia’s Albina Loginova competes against the U.S. team on Saturday.
(NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner) American Rodger Willett Jr. competes against the Canadian team in the gold-medal final of the men’s compound even at the third stage of the Archery World Cup at Lindquist Field in Ogden on Saturday.
(NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner) Russia’s Albina Loginova competes against the U.S. team on Saturday.

OGDEN -- Reo Wilde exhaled a long breath and glanced down to his right sleeve, which was adorned with a patch of the American flag. A mixture of relief and pleasure then overwhelmed the features of his face as he explained what it meant to win a gold medal for that flag.

Wilde, along with his two teammates, Braden Gellenthien and Rodger Willett Jr., had just defeated the Canadians in blustery conditions to take the gold medal in the men's team compound event at the Archery World Cup on Saturday at Lindquist Field.

"It's pretty amazing," Wilde said just moments after the team had locked up the gold. "It's a pretty special feeling. It's excitement now, wound up, but the big feeling is when you get up on the podium and you get to hear your national anthem. It really touches you."

The U.S. women's compound team didn't fare quite as well in its gold-medal match against Russia. It came down to the final arrow, but the Russians beat the American team, made up of Jamie Van Natta, Christie Colin and Erika Anschutz. It was a rare defeat for the U.S. trio, which hasn't lost in over two years while competing as a team.

There is no compound archery event in the Olympics and no team category in the World Cup finals, set to be held Japan later this year, so it was a difficult result to swallow for the U.S. women.

"I don't think we did anything differently," Colin said. "We shot great today. We just weren't really sure with the wind. These are not normal conditions. Getting 10 minutes to figure it out is not adequate, but we do the best we can."

The team got some redemption, however, when Van Natta and Colin competed in an all-U.S. women's individual compound final. Colin won in a final-arrow shoot-off to take the gold.

"It's not fun, because one of us has to lose," Colin said of competing against her teammate. "But, you know, we (compete against each other) all the time, so it's actually an exciting match. There's no true letdown if one of us loses because we're still excited for our team."

Wilde won his second gold in the final event of the day by defeating the Netherlands' Peter Elzinga in the men's individual compound final.

Venezuela beat Italy for bronze in the women's team compound event, while Mexico knocked off El Salvador in the men's match.

Kristina Berger of Germany powered past Laura Longo of Italy for the women's individual bronze. France's Pierre Julien Deloche won the bronze over Canada's Chris Perkins on the men's side.

In the mixed compound final, Russia beat the Netherlands for gold.

The World Cup recurve finals will be held at Lindquist field tomorrow, and admission is free.

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