Chula Vista, CA - With Olympian Brady Ellison leading the charge, Team USA took to the field at the Asian Grand Prix, held recently at the National Taiwan Sports University in Chinese Taipei. Competing against teams from ten other countries, the United States made a strong showing, bringing home a new national record, one individual bronze medal, and team silver and bronze.
Six Resident Athletes from the US Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, as well as two-time Olympian Jennifer Nichols, represented the US at this event at which the United States was the only team from outside the region. “I'm pleased with the performance of our Resident Athletes in this international setting,” stated National Head Coach KiSik Lee. “USA Archery and Team USA are on track for success.”
The first day’s ranking round saw Ellison turn out yet another spectacular performance, shooting a 684 and breaking the previous national record by two points, qualifying 2nd. 2008 Olympic Team Alternate Jacob Wukie also shot well, placing 8th with a 666. Other notable finishes include Joe Fanchin, qualifying 14th with a 656, and Nick Kale, a newcomer to the Resident Athlete program, qualifying 31st with a 617.
On the women’s side, Resident Athlete Kristin Braun shot a strong 643 to qualify 10th, followed by Nichols in 16th with a 633, and Heather Koehl, who qualified 18th with her score of 624. In the men’s individual elimination rounds, Wukie had yet another solid performance, finally defeating Chia-Chun Sung of Chinese Taipei to take the bronze medal after a one arrow shoot-off in which Wukie scored a 9 to close out the match.
In the team rounds, the 3rd-seeded women’s recurve team first defeated Malaysia in the quarterfinals, 211-209, to eventually advance to the bronze medal match against Japan, whom they defeated with a strong performance, shooting a 206 to Japan’s 195, bringing home the bronze.
The men’s team consisting of Ellison, Wukie, and Fanchin, also seeded 3rd, began the team round with a victory over Mongolia, 216-214, after which they proceeded to defeat Chinese Taipei in the semi-finals, 218-211. In the gold medal match, they finished within just one point of the opposing team from Korea in a very close match, securing the silver medal with a 216.