U.S. Olympians Brady Ellison and Mackenzie Brown paired up to win a bronze medal for the host nation on Sunday at the Archery World Cup in Salt Lake City, beating Mexico in a shoot-off in the mixed team recurve third-place match.
Three-time Olympic medalist Ellison and 22-year-old Brown started strong against Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia and Juan Rene Serrano, taking a 2-0 lead before Mexico came back to take the next two sets. The match ultimately went to a shoot-off, at which point Ellison and Brown’s arrows beat out Mexico’s two in the red to take the 19-16 win and the last spot on the podium. Throughout the final, Brown was the stronger of the two Americans, finishing with five 10s on the day, including a perfect shot in her final attempt to secure the victory.
Earlier this month, the International Olympic Committee announced that the mixed team competition will be added to the Olympic Games program for Tokyo 2020, giving more significance to the event. The mixed team competition features pairs of athletes, one woman and one man, from the same nation, competing head-to-head in a set system similar to the team event. It was originally introduced to the international stage at the 2011 World Archery Championships and was tested at the past two editions of the Youth Olympic Games.
“It’s going to be the most competitive and the hardest medal to win,” Ellison said. “Everyone has a good man and woman, so it’s literally going to be the best of the best.”
More than 300 archers from over 40 countries took part in the Archery World Cup this weekend, which returned to U.S. soil after a hiatus of several years. Highlights from the tournament will air on NBCSN on Monday from 7-9 p.m. ET.
Stuart Lieberman covered Paralympic sports for three years at the International Paralympic Committee, including at the London 2012 and Sochi 2014 Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.