Shangai, China - Though the world may look toward London and the Olympic/Paralympic Games, it was the Team USA compound archers who came out swinging to start out the 2012 World Cup season. Reo Wilde (ID) started this event with a distinct advantage, qualifying number one with his score of 706 for the 72-arrow, 50 meter round. Three points behind was Paul Titscher (GER), and USA's Dave Cousins (ME) returned to the World Cup circuit with a strong 701 to qualify third. Teammates Braden Gellenthien (VA) ended his day in fifth, also shooting 701, while Rodger Willett (VA) shot a 698 for eighth. Together, the team qualified first, positioning themselves favorably in in the brackets for Friday's team elimination rounds, ahead of France and Venezuela.
For the compound women, it was Paralympic hopeful Danielle Brown (GBR) who went number one in the qualification round, shooting a 694; she was joined atop the rankings by Mexico's Linda Ochoa with 693, and Team USA's Jamie Van Natta (OH), taking the third spot with 692. Number one world ranked archer Erika Anschutz (NE) hit a 688 to qualify fourth; USA's Christie Colin (PA) took ninth with 682, while Diane Watson (FL) ended in 35th, shooting a 659. With a 2062, the women's team secured the number one spot in team qualifications, heading up a top three that includes contenders Italy and France.
On the recurve side, it was Korea and Chinese Taipei who locked up the top spots in individual and team qualifications, with Im Dong-Hyun, Korea's favorite for London, finishing first by several points with 688; he was joined atop the rankings by Chinese Taipei's Kuo Cheng Wei, shooting a 682, and Kim Woojin (KOR) with 680. The U.S. Team's highest qualifier was number one world ranked Brady Ellison (AZ), 7th with 676. Ellison was followed by Olympic hopeful Jacob Wukie (OH), shooting 668 for 19th; Joe Fanchin (CA), shooting a 659 for 39th; and Jake Kaminski, 41st with 658. With a 2043, Korea qualified number one for the team event, followed closely by France and Ukraine; USA, shooting a combined 2003, is seeded fifth.
For both team and individual qualifications, it was Korea, Chinese Taipei and India who secured top three positions. Ki Bo Bae (KOR) locked down the number one spot with a 666; Tan Ya-Ting (TPE) shot a 664 to finish number two. With her 662, India's Deepika Kumari rounded out the top three. Team USA's Khatuna Lorig (CA) was the top U.S. qualifier for recurve women, finishing 19th with a 639. Miranda Leek (IA) shot a 628 for 34th, while two-time Olympian Jennifer Nichols (TX) ended in 49th with 614, and Heather Koehl (WI) scored a 603 to finish 59th. Together, the team shot an 1881 to qualify 8th; Korea, India and Chinese Taipei are the top three seeded countries.
Today's competition continues with individual eliminations, beginning with women's recurve at 9:15 pm ET on Wednesday (9:15 am on Thursday local time). Complete results, quotes and more are available at http://www.archery.org. Follow "usaarchery" on Twitter and like "USA Archery" on Facebook for updates throughout the event.