ANTALYA, Turkey - Team USA’s quest for gold resumes in earnest on Tuesday at the second stage of the World Cup. Antalya, Turkey will play host to this leg for the eighth consecutive year since the World Cup’s inception in 2006.
Coming out of the first stage of the World Cup last month in Shanghai, China, Team USA boasts a powerhouse compound squad, led by Erika Jones (Grand Island, Neb.), who clinched an individual silver medal, joined by teammates Jamie Van Natta (Toledo, Ohio), and bright newcomer, in her World Cup debut, Carli Cochran (Willow Street, Pa.) for the team silver.
Also on the horizon, look out for Korea’s Seok Ji Hyun, who saw victory with both individual and team gold medals, in an unexpected but hard earned showing. Diane Watson (Hudson, Fla.) is returning with the US compound women aiming for gold on Antalya’s beautiful Konyaalti Beach, where the finals will take place June 15-16.
Boasting an impressive start to the 2013 World Cup, the US compound men are expected to see another successful week. Braden Gellenthien (College Station, Texas) coupled with Jones for mixed team gold, and can proudly declare his stellar individual gold medal match over Demark’s Martin Damsbo last month. Gellenthien also claimed team gold with strong teammates Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho) and Rodger Willet, Jr. (Gloucester, Va.), who dominated in their match against Italy. Dave Cousins (Standish, Maine) rounds out the group that will look to remain a powerful force in the compound division.
Look out for Team USA superstar recurve athletes, Khatuna Lorig (West Hollywood, Calif.) and Brady Ellison (Chula Vista, Calif.), who sure to be highly motivated after early losses in the 1/16th elimination last month in Shanghai. The duo has already made a comeback with their gold medal finish in the Recurve Mixed Team event, leaving them in good stead for this week’s competition.
While Korea has continued to top the podium in the recurve division, Japan has had a recent impressive showing, and success at last week’s Europe-Asia challenge in Istanbul has France’s Gaël Prevost and the Netherland’s Rick Van Der Ven also hot on the trail for wins on the world stage.
Olympians Jake Kaminski (Gainesville, Fla.) and Richard “Butch” Johnson (Woodstock, Conn.) will join Joe Fanchin (Chula Vista, Calif.) and Ellison to represent the USA recurve men. The big question on fans’ minds: can they make a return to the number one world ranking?
Lorig will team up with rising star Mackenzie Brown (Chula Vista, Calif.), Olympian Miranda Leek (College Station, Texas) and Heather Koehl (Sheboygan Falls, Wis.). Lorig, currently ranked No. 10 in the world, has five Olympics under her belt, as she leads a young, but undoubtedly promising team into competition this week. They will face tough competitors in Yuting Fang and Jing Xu of China, Korea’s double Olympic Champion Ki Bo Bae, and the strong team from Mexico, led by World No. 2 Aida Roman.
Follow the results live at worldarchery.org.
Information attributed to World Archery Communication.