By Blythe Lawrence | Sept. 30, 2018, 10:54 a.m. (ET)

(L) Brady Ellison competes in archery at the Archery World Cup on Sept. 28, 2018 in Samsun, Turkey.

 

Never underestimate The Prospector.

An injured finger didn’t stop three-time Olympic medalist Brady Ellison from striking bronze at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in a dramatic shoot off round Sunday in Samsun, Turkey. 

Despite the injury and feeling lucky to have made it into the eight man recurve final, the 29-year-old sharpshooter from Arizona held his ground against a host of younger rivals.

As the number 6 seed, Ellison was first pitted against Turkey’s Fatih Bozlar, who appeared in the final as a host country selection. It was something of a reprieve for an athlete who has muddled through the past few months due to what doctors think is a nerve problem in the middle finger of his shooting hand, and Ellison easily dispatched him 7-1 to move into the semifinal. 

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There he faced a more formidable foe in top-seeded Lee Woo Sook of South Korea. Against the 2014 Youth Olympic champion, experience and skill did not prevail: Ellison lost 6-2, putting him in the bronze medal match against Australian Taylor Worth. In his world cup final debut, Worth, who postponed his honeymoon in order to compete in Turkey, didn’t go quietly. The 27-year-old matched Ellison in set points to force a shootoff to determine the winner, but once again Ellison prevailed, 10-9.

In an all-Korean men’s final, Kim Woojin defeated compatriot Lee to defend his title from 2017.

Over his career, Ellison is the most successful archer ever to participate in the world cup final, where he has been on the podium every year but one since 2010. The sharpshooter from Arizona has won the event four times — in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2016 — and was runner up in 2012 and 2017. His lone bronze, apart from this year, came back in 2013.

Blythe Lawrence is a journalist based in Seattle. She has covered two Olympic Games and is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.