MEDELLIN, Colombia - After what some might call a slower-than-usual start to the World Cup season, Team USA caught fire at the third stage of the Archery World Cup in Medellin this week, scoring nine chances to shoot for medals in this weekend's finals.
In individual matchplay, London 2012 alum Miranda Leek, along with top world ranked archers Erika Jones, Reo Wilde and Braden Gellenthien, all scored berths to the individual gold medal matches after shooting their way through wins versus difficult opponents on Thursday.
The American archers will still need to bring their A-game to the field this weekend, with Leek facing 9th-ranked Inna Stepanova (RUS), Jones meeting 2nd-seeded Alejandra Usquiano (COL) and Gellenthien and Wilde meeting one another in a rematch from the last World Cup Final.
In the team events, all four U.S. teams are into the finals, with the compound teams both shooting their way through successful semifinals into the gold medal matches tomorrow, and the recurvers shooting for bronze.
Look for the American compound women to meet Colombia in a rematch from the last World Cup, while the men's team will face an equally strong squad from France. On the recurve side, Sunday will bring matchups with Canada for the men, and Mexico for the women. The recurve mixed team of Khatuna Lorig and Brady Ellison - a double Olympic medalist threat - will also meet China in yet another gold medal final.
With seven gold medals and two bronze at stake, there's a lot for Team USA archery fans to get excited about this weekend. Be sure to watch a live stream of the finals at http://www.fedearco.org throughout Saturday and Sunday; USA Archery is carrying live coverage on Twitter, and World Archery will have live results and commentary at worldarchery.org.