The indoor archery season is underway, with four of the biggest tournaments complete. Fans enjoyed thrilling matches and fantastic displays of archery skill. Let’s review some of the indoor season’s most memorable moments so far.
The Nimes recurve men’s match pitted the USA’s Brady Ellison, one of the sport’s biggest stars, against rising star Steve Wijler of the Netherlands. Wijler has enjoyed great success since his World Cup debut, and was the 2017 World Archery Athlete of the Year.
Wijler lived up to that title, besting Ellison 6-4 in the gold-medal match. Tough matches are a trend in the indoor World Cup circuit. “It’s getting to the point now that in recurve men you can’t miss,” Ellison told World Archery. “It’s a can’t-miss game, and it’s getting exciting.”
Natalia Avdeeva, Russian Federation
Kristofer Schaff, USA
Kim Surin, Korea
The Lancaster Classic is unique because it features the barebow division on the big stage. This division’s popularity has exploded, with attendance more than doubling in one year, and the 2017 finals generating over 200,000 YouTube views.
Rich Barker was the low seed of the four finalists, and had to shoot through three barebow titans. His first opponent was Bobby Worthington, a soft-spoken Southern gentleman who finished second at last year’s Classic. Barker prevailed in an exciting back-and-forth battle.
Next up was Dewayne Martin, a multiple 3-D world champion. Barker was the clear underdog, but again edged his opponent. His final matchup pitted him against John Demmer, the country’s best barebow archer. Both archers displayed amazing accuracy, but Barker was on fire and defeated Demmer.
The women’s recurve gold-medal match featured USA Olympian Mackenzie Brown against Casey Kaufhold, a 13-year-old phenom from Pennsylvania. Kaufhold battled the more experienced Brown, trailing by 1 point with one end left. Kaufhold stumbled on her second arrow, which let Brown seal the victory with a 10.
Brady Ellison, USA
Sarah Prieels, Belgium
Paul Tedford, USA
The Vegas Open Championship shoot-off is the indoor world’s main event, with a $52,000 grand prize. To reach this event archers must shoot perfect scores all three days of competition. The nine shooters on the line all carried impressive resumes. The shoot-off features a last-person-standing format. All the archers shoot, and those with the top scores keep shooting until one person remains perfect.
This year’s final two featured Canada’s Chris Perkins, a former world champion; and Michigan native Bob Eyler, a former professional archer that took a hiatus from archery. Despite Eyler not competing in the Vegas shoot for six-years, he showed no signs of rust. Both archers nailed the X-ring with their first two arrows. Perkins’ third arrow was mere millimeters low. Eyler needed to shoot a 10 to win the big check and prestige of Vegas champion. He drew, aimed and coolly shot the 10, causing the crowd to erupt in applause. Vegas always loves an underdog.
Lisa Unruh, Germany
Steve Wijler, Netherlands
Alexis Ruiz, USA
World Cup Finals
The women’s compound gold-medal match featured Tanja Jensen, Denmark, against Alexandra Savenkova, Russian Federation. Jensen shot strong but was plagued by low hits on her third shots. Going into the final end, Savenkova had a 1-point lead. To have a chance to win, Jensen needed to shoot a perfect score, but her first two arrows narrowly missed the 10-ring. That left the door open for Savenkova, who continued her strong shooting to win.
Jesse Broadwater, USA
Han Jaeyeop, Korea
Lisa Unruh, Germany
The excitement isn’t over. Some of the best indoor action remains. The Indoor World Championship, USA Archery Indoor National Championship, and National Field Archery National Championship are all coming up. Stay tuned to BowJunky Media, World Archery and USA Archery for the events’ coverage.