Team USA Archery Misses Out on 2020 Olympics Medals

Team USA archers had a rollercoaster ride during the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, finally ending with no medals.

Team USA Archery Misses Out on 2020 Olympics Medals

It was a difficult Olympic Games for Team USA Archery. Expectations were high entering the Tokyo Games, but Team USA archers couldn’t conquer a stadium with a very tricky wind.

For the men’s finals day, hype surrounded world No. 1 and World Champion Brady Ellison’s quest for the elusive Olympic champion title that has evaded him through four Olympics.

The first round matched Ellison (photo above) with teammate and friend Jacob Wukie, and it was a tight battle. Ellison took the first set and then the two split the next three, scoring 29, 29 and 28 each. Ellison closed with a perfect 30 to advance and was shooting the way he needed to continue on in the competition. Wukie finished ninth. (Archers shoot three arrows per set, and a match consists of five sets. A perfect set is 30 points; three arrows scoring 10 points each.)

In the quarterfinals, Ellison met Mete Gazoz of Turkey. Gazoz took the first set 27-26. Then they matched with 28s, Ellison responded with another 28 to Gazoz’s 27 and the two drew level. Brady opened with a right 8, and followed with another 8 to the left, a costly score when it mattered most. Gazoz just outscored him 27-26 and then 30-29 to finish off the match. Ellison finished in seventh place.

“I shot a good match,” Ellison said. “I just made one bad shot, that was the right 8 and then I made a mistake of thinking that it should have flight drifted and it was just a bad shot and then I aimed my next one in the middle and shot a left 8. That was the only mistake or kind of bad one in the match and if I would have just aimed in that same place, not thinking the wind was different because of the one shot that I held long, I would have shot 10, 10, 8 and it would have been a different match. I’m not really upset, I shot well overall.”

Click here to watch a 3-minute video below showing the highlights of the Ellison/Gazoz match. FYI: Distance to the target is 70 yards, and the 10-ring measures 4.8 inches in diameter. The 9-ring measures 9.6 inches in diameter.

Mackenzie Brown Finishes Fourth

Mackenzie Brown was solid in qualification, ranking fifth in an incredibly tight field and leading the Team USA women’s team to a third place seed and the mixed team to second. In the finals arena for team events, Brown was strong and consistent, but faced heartbreaking losses alongside her teammates. She remained positive, knowing she was doing what she needed to do out there and confident she could keep it up on her own for individual match play.

She dropped just the first set in the preliminary match day and never looked back, with two dominate wins to make it to the top 16. Fast forward to finals day and she continued to shoot very well, splitting two sets with Chinese Taipei’s Chia-En Lin, but winning the first and last with solid 28s for the win.

In the quarterfinals, Brown battled Mexico’s Olympic Champion Alejandra Valencia, ending in a shoot-off. Both archers scored 10s, but Brown’s was closer to the center and she took the win.  

Brown’s semifinal with Korea’s An San could easily have been the gold medal match, and will go down in history as one of the best shot, most exciting matches off all time in Olympic women’s archery. Brown took the first set by a point with a 29, San responded with two perfect 30s while Brown posted 28s. Then Brown responded with a 30 of her own to San’s 27. At the final arrow, Brown needed a 10 to win, but she loosed a 9 that was out by just one millimeter. Brown drilled a good 9, but San took the shoot off win with an X before going on to win Olympic gold. Brown absolutely left nothing on the table; it was one of those matches where she did not lose, she simply got beat.

Brown returned to the stage for the bronze final against Italy’s 23rd ranked Lucillia Boari. Boari came to play, and after splitting the first set at 28 each, ran away with the match 29-28, 28-25, and 27-26 for the victory, meaning Brown finished in fourth place just out of the medals.

“I’m very proud of what I did today,” Brown said. “My quarterfinal match was good, I stayed in it the whole time and same with my semifinal match, I was within such a hair’s width away from winning. I never lost focus on any sets and don’t think I gave up at any point. I made good shots. I don’t know if I read the wind wrong or what; I honestly think I made the best decisions I could and stayed focused on the same things I’d been focused on all day.”

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