Koreans dominate first day
OGDEN -- Let the eliminations begin.
Korea, a perennial powerhouse in recurve target archery, opened up Wednesday's first day of competition at the 2010 Archery World Cup in dominating fashion at Weber State University, with Dong-Hyun Im leading the men's individual recurve, and Korea's recurve women holding the top four individual spots.
The United States is shining in both the men's and women's compound divisions at Stage 3, the first U.S. stop for a World Cup stage in history.
Wednesday's action at at WSU's PT field determined the athlete's ranking for both individual and team competitions, with the archers each shooting 12 six-arrow ends.
A showdown is in the making in the men's individual recurve division where Korea's Im, the 2009 World Championships silver medalist, and 2008 U.S. Olympian Brady Ellison, swapped positions three times in the ranking round.
Im, a two-time Olympic team gold medalist, held the overall lead after the first three ends, where Ellison took the lead until the final end where Im came out on top with a 683 score. Ellison, who is currently ranked first in the World Cup standings, is second with a 680 total.
Korea's Jin Hyek Oh is third with a 678 total and Chu Sian Cheng of Malaysia is fourth with 337 points. Five-time U.S. Olympian Butch Johnson of Woodstock, Calif., sits ninth with a 665 total.
In women's recurve, the Korean team was led by Moon Jung Kim, who was sitting in fourth after the first six ends, and finished in first with a 668 total that included 32 tens and 17 Xs.
For Team USA, four-time Olympian Khatuna Lorig finished 18th with a 643, while two-time U.S. Olympian Jennifer Nichols finished in 19th with a 641.
In men's compound, 2007 World Cup Final champion Jorge Jimenez of El Salvador took the ranking round title by hitting a 704 cumulative score that included 28 Xs and 56 tens. Roger Willett, Jr. of the U.S., also shot a 704, but is ranked second by only finding the X-mark 16 times. In third is American Braden Gellenthien with 702 points, while teammate Jesse Broadwater shot a 700 for sixth, while 2009 World Champion Reo Wilde of Pocatello, Idaho, finished eighth with a 699.
In women's compound, 2008 World Cup Final champion Jamie Van Natta of Team USA sits on top of the division by shooting a 695 that was highlighted with 49 tens and 18 Xs, which is six points better than second-ranked Viktoria Balzhanova of Russia. Recently crowned 2010 U.S. National Champion Erika Anschutz is third with a 687 total.
Medals in Archery World Cup Stage 3 were awarded Wednesday in mixed team competition in both recurve and compound divisions to close out the day.
Leading the charge was the U.S. compound mixed team of Willet and Van Natta. The American duo knocked off Denmark in the semifinals in the first tiebreaker. Both squads were knotted at 4 match points each and Team USA successfully had two hits to Denmark's one to advance to Saturday's championship finals against Russia. Denmark went on to win the bronze medal by defeating Australia, 6-2.
In the recurve mixed team competition, the gold-medal final will have Korea and Great Britain pitted against each other. The bronze was claimed by Italy who defeated Russia, 146-139.
Korea, the No. 1 ranked team that consisted of Moon Jung Kim and Dong-Hyun Im, defeated Italy in a close semifinal contest, 148-145. Great Britain, comprised of Naomi Folkard and Simon Terry, knocked off Russia to advance to the final, 144-142.
The bronze-medal went to Italy, who defeated Russia, 146-139. Russia upended the No. 2 ranked U.S. squad of Ellison and Lorig in the quarterfinals, 146-143. Ellison and Lorig won the first round by defeating Australia, 144-130.
The range at Weber State will continue to play host to the World Cup action today with individual eliminations, while Friday will see the team elimination rounds.
Saturday, the Archery World Cup Stage 3 medal matches and championship finals will move downtown to Lindquist Field. All sessions are free and open to the public to attend. For more information visit www.ogdenwc.com or follow the live results at www.archery.org.