Three-time Olympic medalist archer Brady Ellison struck silver in a recurve final that ended in a shootout with reigning Olympic champion Kim Woojin Sunday as the first outdoor world cup of the 2018 archery world cup concluded Sunday in Shanghai.
Ellison, nicknamed “The Prospector” after the Arizona mining town he hails from and his affinity to claim gold at tournaments, had a wild ride through the preliminary rounds, coming out on the right side of three tiebreakers against three different opponents to win the right to face world No. 1 Kim in the final, shot before a backdrop of Shanghai skyscrapers.
“I’m just kinda happy to be in the final,” 29-year-old Ellison remarked after edging Korea’s Lee Woo Seok 6-5 in the semifinal. “It’s one of those days where I probably shouldn’t be there but the sets fell right for me.”
With world cup gold on the line, Kim won the first confrontation 28-26. While the pair split the next two sets, scoring 28s and then 29s, the South Korean finally edged the Globe, Arizona, native 6-2 by shooting a 10 at the decisive moment when he needed a 9 to win.
The two had faced each other six times before Sunday, with Kim coming out on top all but once.
“I look out for Brady because I believe he is a big rival,” Kim told World Archery. “I think the competition drives both of us to improve, and I put a lot of energy into that match.”
Ellison won silver at the 2017 World Cup Final, falling to Kim in the final, and is working his way back toward gold at that event – a feat he has achieved four times already.
Lee Woo Seok, the gold medalist at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, leaves Shanghai with bronze after defeating Japan’s Takaharu Furukawa 7-3 in the bronze-medal match.
Ellison and five-time Olympian Khatuna Lorig finished fourth in the recurve mixed team event, while Lorig, Mackenzie Brown and LaNola Shepherd placed fifth in the women’s recurve team event.