Brady Ellison is the top-ranked men’s recurve archer in the world, and he showed why yet again by winning a record fifth gold medal at the World Cup Final on Saturday in Moscow, Russia.
The three-time Olympic medalist who this season had won world championships gold, two golds and a bronze in three world cup stages, Olympic test event bronze and set two world records for his best season ever blew through his opponents in the first two rounds to set up a meeting with world No. 4 Mauro Nespoli of Italy in the gold-medal match.
It wasn’t going to be an easy one after Nespoli beat two-time reigning world cup champion and world No. 2 Kim Woojin of Korea in the semifinals, 6-0, and only dropped one point in nine arrows in the process.
Ellison was clearly the favorite coming into the tournament, however, and had already qualified for more and won more World Cup Finals than any man in recurve or compound.
The two were tied 1-1 after the first set, then Ellison won the second for a 3-1 advantage before they tied in the third, 4-2. A win in the fourth gave Ellison a 6-2 victory and the gold medal.
“I’m so excited,” Ellison said, according to USA Archery. “I won my first and tenth World Cup Finals… I’m so stoked right now. I found the middle when I had to, and I’m so pumped right now.”
Ellison, 30, took out Russia’s Artem Makhnenko in the quarterfinals, 7-1, before coming up against a familiar opponent in the semifinals in the Netherlands’ Sjef van den Berg, whom he beat to win the bronze medal at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. More recently, Ellison defeated van den Berg to win bronze at the Tokyo Olympic test event back in July, just a month after he became the first U.S. man since 1985 to win gold in recurve at the world championships. The Globe, Arizona, native beat van den Berg for the seventh consecutive time in international competition, 6-2, to secure his place in the gold-medal match.
The World Cup Final features only eight of the top athletes in the world and starts with the quarterfinal round. Ellison was the only athlete to win three World Cup Finals (2010, 2011, 2014) before winning an unprecedented fourth in 2016. Women’s compound archer Sara Lopez of Colombia also earned her record fifth on Saturday; her victories came in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
His international season over, Ellison next competes at the second of four stages of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Archery, Sept. 28-Oct. 1 in College Station, Texas.
“It was a hell of a year and I just have to get back home and start training again, get back in the gym and get ready to rock next year.”