Archery tournaments are on hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, but you can still enjoy the thrill of competition by watching epic matches between the world’s best archers when they went head-to-head at previous events. These matchups present dynamic displays of skill, precision and passion, and the videos below show archery at its finest.
Brady Ellison took on Sjef van den Berg of the Netherlands in the bronze-medal match at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Ellison won the first round by 1 point. Van den Berg came back to win the second round. The matchup stayed close until Ellison answered with triple 10s in the third round, and then won the fourth round to clinch the win. That triumph was his first individual Olympic medal.
The 2019 U.S. Open barebow men’s gold medal match was an intense back-and-forth battle between John Demmer III and John Dillinger. The commenters joked that when the crowd cheered “John,” the competitors didn’t know who inspired the support. They also noted that Demmer generates excitement for barebow archery. He often wears superhero inspired T-shirts while competing, and created an instructional course to introduce archers to barebow.
Demmer didn’t don a superhero T-shirt this day, but he won the first round and then lost to Dillinger in the second. The wind picked up before the third round, forcing the archers to recalculate their sight-free aim. Demmer and Dillinger tied in the third round, but Dillinger took the fourth and Demmer the fifth, triggering a shoot-off round. Demmer landed a 10 to win.
Five archers battled for the title in the women’s division at the 2018 Appling ASA Open. Sharon Wallace and Cara Kelly were the two to watch going into the finals. Both had enjoyed successful seasons, and were chasing the title as they shot their way down the line of 3D targets. Kailey Johnston, Christine Harrelson and Pam Hockman were pursuing, but Wallace held the top spot throughout the shoot-down, with Kelly close behind. Wallace maintained her lead to win.
Levi Morgan and Danny McCarthy battled for the title during a 10-target shoot-off to determine the 2019 IBO World Championship. Chris Hacker, Nathan Brooks and Justin Martin battled for third, fourth and fifth place. Everyone shot the 10-station course of 3D targets, and kept the final evenly matched. One of Martin’s arrows required a group decision to determine the score, and one of McCarthy’s arrows hit one of Morgan’s. Morgan kept his lead to claim the win.
World Archery’s YouTube channel offers full sessions of the men and women’s recurve field archery finals at the 2017 World Games in Wroclaw, Poland. The course has multiple targets with different distances, sizes and target faces; covering all types of terrain, similar to 3D archery’s format. You can watch each match in its entirety, and learn field archery’s format as you follow the archers target to target.
Jessica Stretton of Great Britain and Nur Syahidah Alim of Singapore competed in a one-arrow shoot-off for the 2019 World Archery Para Championship title. Both archers shot a 9, but Alim’s arrow hit closer to the center to claim gold in the exciting tie-breaker.
Paige Pearce and Alexis Ruiz competed for the compound gold in a close match at the 2019 U.S. Archery Indoor National Championships. The competition featured an exciting start when Pearce and Ruiz tied the first and second rounds. Pearce pulled ahead by a point in the third round with triple 10s. She kept the momentum by taking the fourth round, with Ruiz only 2 points behind, so it went to the fifth round. Pearce clinched the win with another perfect 30.
These matches offer a glimpse of the world’s most amazing archery competitions. Each year offers many opportunities to watch tournaments live or on the internet. You can then follow the sport in real-time when tournaments return to action. Meanwhile, enjoy archery’s classic matches.
If watching professional archers motivates you to try the sport, visit a local range to get started.