Double gold for Joe FANCHIN

A new US archer is on the rise. After winning two medals in Odgen last month, Joe FANCHIN (USA) won the gold in individuals and team this week in Shanghai! The young Inna STEPANOVA (RUS) also won her first World Cup in Recurve Women. The finals of the Archery World Cup Stage 4 in Shanghai took place on the River Boulevard Pudong Shanghai on Saturday! Recurve shot in the morning. Recurve team shoot matches of 24 arrows with cumulative scores. Mixed Teams shoot 16 arrows and individual archers shoot their matches in the Set System (5 sets of 3 arrows) at 70 metres. Each set is worth 2 points and the archers who earn 6 set points first win the match. In the case of a tied match (5-5), a one-arrow shoot-off closest to centre is shot.

Here is a recap of our live commentaries.

Recurve Men Individual

Gold – Khairul Anuar MOHAMAD (MAS/16) v Joe FANCHIN (USA/14)

FANCHIN will shoot his second final in the Archery World Cup this season right after the bronze medal match in Ogden last month. At only 20 years old, MOHAMAD is the Cinderella story of the Shanghai World Cup stage. He went all the way to his first appearance in the final beating none the less than the No. 1 in the world Brady ELLISON (USA).

FANCHIN shot 9-10-9 in the first set to take a 2-0 lead, but MOHAMAD came back strongly with 9-10-10 to tie the match at 2-2. Then it was the turn of FANCHIN to shoot a 29-point set (10-10-9) to take the lead again, 4-2.

The athletes really put on a good show in this gold medal final! MOHAMAD scored 9-10-9 and FANCHIN scored 10-9 and needed a 10 to clinch the match! However, he scored a 9. The fourth set was tied and FANCHIN maintained a good advantage in the match, 5-3. He should have won it in the fifth set! MOHAMAD scored 9-9-8. FANCHIN started with 10-9 and needed just an 8 to clinch the match! He scored a… 7! He lost the fifth set and the match was tied at 5-5. Shoot-off! FANCHIN shot first with a 10 on the line! MOHAMAD needed a better 10 to win it. He scored a 9; victory for FANCHIN!

Today we had the young archer Gael PREVOST from France with us for the live commentaries. 17 year-old PREVOST, who has just shot his first full World Cup season qualified for the Final in Istanbul. Here is what he said about this recurve men’s final: FANCHIN is a tall and powerful archer. I actually think he shoots better in individuals than in teams! To say the least he just shot two wonderful tournaments! He won a team gold and an individual bronze in Ogden and he won two gold here in Shanghai! Congratulations to him!

Bronze – Pedro VIVAS ALCALA (MEX/15) v Mitch DIELEMANS (NED/13)

The No. 13-16 seeds are shooting in the bronze and gold medal match. That meant that they beat the No. 1-4 seeds in the 1/8 eliminations. What a rare case! VIVAS ALCALA even took this advantage to qualify for the World Cup Final in Istanbul. The young 18 year-old DIELEMANS will, in any event, reach his best individual performance. He is the recent team bronze medallist of the World Archery Youth Championships in Legnica (POL) last month.

DIELEMANS shot 9-9-10 to win the first set. VIVAS ALCALA had 10-9-9 and 10-9-X10 to take the next two. The level was raised with this match! The Mexican scored another two 10s in the fourth set and despite an 8, it was better than the 9-9-8 from DIELEMANS. Fourth set and victory for VIVAS ALCALA, 6-2!

Gael PREVOST (FRA): The young DIELEMANS shot wonderfully during the week, but he seemed very nervous today for his first appearance on a World Cup final field. It actually seems as if his good first set put even more pressure on him. Maybe he wanted to be “too good”. VIVAS ALCALA, although also appearing for the first time in an individual final in the World Cup, has much more experience and was solid today.

Recurve Women Individual

Gold – Inna STEPANOVA (RUS/17) v Berengere SCHUH (FRA/3)

The No. 17 and 3 seeds, STEPANOVA and SCHUH, met twice before this final in Shanghai. STEPANOVA won twice. She is another youngster in these finals being only 21 years old. SCHUH will shoot her second final here in Shanghai (2009).

STEPANOVA let the first set slip when she started the match with a 6, but she came back strongly in the second with 9-10-9 to tie the match at 2-2. The wind was not strong but it was changing a lot, therefore giving some difficulties to the athlete. The Russian shot 9-8-8, but the French athlete could not do better with 9-7-9. Tied set and 3-3 in the match.

STEPANOVA came back to the yellow in the fourth set with 9-10-9. SCHUH shot 8-9-10. She trailed 3-5.

SCHUH started the fifth set with an 8*. She followed with a 9 and a 10. STEPANOVA made the opposite with 10-9-8! The first 8 of SCHUH was confirmed by the judge. The set was tied and that was enough for STEPANOVA to take the match and the gold, 6-4!

Gael PREVOST: STEPANOVA was a bit lucky with her last arrow. She got an 8, but it could have been worse with the way she shot it. SCHUH took too long before she found the 10 (only on her 12th and 15th arrow). STEPANOVA did shoot four 10s during the match to deserve victory!

Bronze – Erwina SAFITRI (INA/29) v Deepika KUMARI (IND/2)

SAFITRI, 18 years old, and KUMARI, 17 years old, met once at the 2010 Asian Games and KUMARI won the 1/8 match 7 to 3. KUMARI is an amazing talent. She is the current individual youth world champion and individual and team commonwealth champion. She also won a team silver medal at the Turin world championships, with the seniors, in July.

SAFITRI took the first set with an impressive 8-10-10. However KUMARI came back in the second set 9-10-9 to tie the match at 2-2. KUMARI took the lead in the third, although she could not shoot any 10s. SAFITRI found the 10-ring again with 10-9-10 to tie the match again! KUMARI took the advantage at the beginning of the decisive set with a 9, while SAFITRI had an 8. Then both archers found a 10. KUMARI opened the door with her last arrow shooting an 8. However SAFITRI finished with a 7. Bronze medal to KUMARI.

Gael PREVOST: SAFITRI seemed very nervous at the beginning of the match, while KUMARI had the advantage to have shot the team final shortly before. In the end, the Indian athlete was more consistent than the Indonesian. KUMARI only missed the yellow five times, while SAFITRI missed it eight times. She had a last opportunity to tie or to win the match with her last arrow but she could not come through under pressure and again shot out of the yellow (a 7).

Recurve Men Team

Gold – USA (USA/1) v Malaysia (MAS/10)

USA and Malaysia met once this year at the first stage of the Archery World Cup in Porec (CRO). USA won the 1/8 final 224 to 211. Malaysia’s last victory versus USA was in 2007’s Beijing Test Event.

USA shot a strong first end with three 10’s in a row, allowing them to take the lead by two points over Malaysia, 56 to 54. USA still led after 12 arrows even if they pushed close to the time limit. FANCHIN and ELLISON both shot an 8. In the third end, USA led with a 2-point advantage over Malaysia, 165 to 163. In the last six arrows, USA made a strong start with 29 points whereas Malaysia shot a 7 with its third arrow. USA remained strong and won the match 222 to 218.

Gael PREVOST: The windy conditions pushed the archers to the right side of the target. Malaysia took a long time to set up their sights.

Recurve Women Team

Gold – India (IND/1) v Italy (ITA/3)

This is a repeat of the final from the world championships in Turin where Italy became world champions “at home”.

After quite a bad start from Italy, India took the lead after six arrows, 52 to 46. In the second end, Italy shot two arrows close to the 10-ring but this was not enough for them, dropping another point in the end. In the third end, India increased its lead, shooting three 10s in a row. Even if Italy finished well with 54 points in the last end, India won the match 215 to 204!

Gael Prevost: India took a strong lead on the first end. They also posted a lot of points in the third end. Italy never had the chance to overcome their opponents.

Recurve Mixed Team

Gold – USA (USA/1) v Japan (JPN/3)

ELLISON/LORIG partnered another time in a mixed team final after their silver medal in the Porec World Cup. ELLISON partnered with Miranda LEEK to win the Ogden stage. Japan had not achieved any significant result in mixed teams yet this year.

USA took the lead by one point only over Japan, 35 to 34. In the second end, USA doubled its lead. In the third end it seemed that Japan gave up a little, shooting a 7 and an 8, whereas USA shot three perfect 10’s and a 9. In the last end, Japan shot three perfect arrows in the middle of the target but also a 7. USA only needed to shoot a 3 on their last arrow to win the match. LORIG shot a 9 and USA won the match 146 to 139!

The USA is the best mixed team in the World Cup this year!

Superb performances on the Shanghai riverside!

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