The Archery World Cup series kicked off in Shanghai this week, with 300 of the world’s best archers fighting to reach this weekend’s finals. Here are eight things we think will happen in the “Shanghai showdown”:
Bridger Deaton will win three medals.
Deaton, the USA’s last man standing in individual competition, secured a spot in the compound mixed team gold-medal final with Erika Jones. He still has the team event ahead. “I want to keep shooting well and go far in the individual, the team and the mixed team,” he told World Archery. “As long as I keep shooting well, I will be happy.”
Gold medal birthday for Sara Lopez.
It’s her birthday, after all. The 19-year-old compound archer from Colombia celebrated on the field with pizza, gifts from the Danish team, and a perfect 150 score to clinch her spot in the final.
Pierre Plihon will surprise everyone.
Where did he come from? Plihon is from an archery club in Nimes, where he shot for over a decade with a 20-year-old bow, a gift from his godfather. The recurve archer, who will shoot for gold Sunday, said: “I think of nothing else but preparing my shot. The fear of winning? That doesn’t exist.”
Mackenzie Brown and Brady Ellison will walk away with gold.
Brown – who came up through USA Archery’s youth and developmental programs – has been a powerhouse in her first year on the World Cup circuit. Watch this recurve archer complement her teammate Ellison.
Xu Jing gets a home-court advantage.
China is hosting this event, and Xu Jing, shooting for the recurve women’s gold medal, has a tough opponent in Germany’s Elena Richter. Still, with her country’s support behind her, she has a chance to steal the show.
Seb Pieneau will take the compound men’s crown.
The French compound archer has dominated archery the past year, and enjoyed great success during the Indoor World Cup series. Look for Pieneau to give teammate and superstar PJ Deloche a run for his money.
Collin Klimitchek and Jeremiah Cusick will make you believe.
Think these two young archers can’t get the job done? Think again. With mentor and teammate Ellison shooting alongside them, we think these newcomers could give the world a Rio 2016 preview.
Compound women: a USA-Colombia smack-down.
The American and Colombian women’s teams have been pitted in an epic rivalry since last year. We think the time is right for an Erika Jones vs. Sara Lopez faceoff. Looking at the brackets, both teams should have strong shots at the finals.
Follow all the action in Shanghai with live scores, photos and more at http://www.worldarchery.org.