With the World Archery Championships getting underway on Tuesday, the race to secure the first quota places for next year’s Olympic Games in Paris has begun.
Recurve and compound archers were in action on day one and the USA started well in the German capital. Recurve is the only archery discipline featured at the Olympic Games.
Those spots will be awarded for teams on Friday and individuals on Sunday.
Brady Ellison (7th seed), Jackson Mirich (25) and Jack Williams (48) combined for 1983 points, which was good enough for fifth seed in the recurve men team event. Those crucial elimination matches see the USA pre-seeded in the 1/8th round, with either Israel or Italy their opponents. There is a possible semifinal meeting with top seeds Korea.
Casey Kaufhold was the best-placed USA archer in the recurve women, managing 21st. The performances of Kaufhold, along with Jennifer Mucino-Fernandez (39) and Catalina GNoriega (50), puts the USA as 11th seeds in Friday’s elimination rounds, which begins for them at the 1/12th stage against Georgia (22). Victory will pit them against sixth-seeded Chinese Taipei in the 1/8th round.
Kaufhold and Ellison will combine for the recurve mixed team. As fifth seeds they begin at the 1/8th round on Wednesday against either Denmark or Indonesia.
In the individual competition, Mirich and Williams begin at the 1/48th round on Thursday. Mirich meets Jeff Henckels (LUX), while Williams faces Nicholas D’Amour of the US Virgin Islands. Ellison enters at the 1/16th round, tackling the winner of Jorge Enriquez (COL) versus Andres Temino (ESP).
Mirich, making his World Archery Championship debut told World Archery, “We really want those Olympic spots here, so I put pressure on myself to keep doing what I was doing.”
On the recurve women’s side, all three USA archers are involved at the 1/48th round.
Kaufhold plays Urantungalag Bishindee (MGL), Mucino-Fernandez goes up against Nurul Izzah Mazlan (MAS) and GNoriega aims to overcome Diya Siddique (BAN).
As with the Paralympic Games qualification process, quota spots do not go to the individual archer or team, rather to the country. To select athletes to the U.S. team quota slots, USA Archery hosts a multi-stage U.S. Team Olympic Trials.
Compound competition also got going on day one in Berlin. Alexis Ruiz shone, finishing as the ninth seed in the women’s category, only missing out on eighth after a shootout with Isabelle Carpenter of Great Britain.
Ruiz will go into Thursday’s elimination rounds at the 1/24th round, with Kanoknapus Kaewchomphu (THA) or Inga Timinskiene (LTU) the opponent.
Olivia Dean (33) and Liko Arreola (34) start their push in the elimination rounds at the 1/48th stage. Dean meets Anna Maria Alfredsdottir (ISL) and Arreola starts against Giselle De Sousa (POR).
As a team, the trio are seeded sixth and come together on Wednesday against Kazakhstan in the 1/8th round.
Ruiz and Sawyer Sullivan will represent the USA in the compound mixed team event as the ninth seeds, and face Slovakia on what is set to be a busy Wednesday.
Sullivan was the top USA archer in the compound men division, placing 21st, but only five points from eighth. Kris Schaff was a point further back in the 24th, while Nick Kappers three points back, which was enough for the 32nd seed.
Individual elimination matches take place on Thursday. Sullivan, a winner last weekend at the Buckeye Classic, plays Bunyod Mirzametov (KAZ); Schaff tackles Akbarali Karabayev (KAZ) and Kappers goes against Mads Haugseth (NOR). All start at the 1/48th round.
As a trio, the compound men are sixth seeds and take on either the Netherlands or Slovakia on Wednesday in the 1/8th round.