D'Almeida back into finals after recurve eliminations

11 June 2015
Yankton (USA)
Still a cadet, top-seeded Marcus D'Almeida was back to the match form that won him two big silvers in 2014.

Marcus D’Almeida, almost unbelievably still shooting as a cadet after winning Archery World Cup silver in 2014, continued the strong form he put on show during qualifying. 

D’Almeida started his 2015 World Cup season badly but recently switched back to his old equipment – a change that seems to have regained him the groove that made him so potent last season.

The number one seed blew through the first two phases in Yankton. He beat Slovenian Ziga Ravnikar and States Kim Geunwoo.

In the quarterfinals Marcus met ninth-ranked Ryan Oliver – who yesterday won the recurve cadet mixed team bronze. Marcus was consistent from beginning to end. One last nine-point arrow was enough to secure the match at 7-3.

Marcus repeated that 7-3 scoreline in the semifinals against fifth-ranked Korean Lee Seungjun.

At the end of the third set the match was tied 3-3. He won the fourth and put three nines down in the fifth for a total of 27 points to beat  Lee’s 25 and collect Marcus a ticket to the gold medal match.

“It’s a good comeback, especially in this weather,” said Marcus, shivering. “It was a very difficult day. It was very cold and windy for everyone.”

Both top junior qualifiers had trouble early on in the Yankton elimination phases.

In their third round matches, Koreans Lee Woo Seok and Lee Eun Gyeong struggled and found themselves needing to win shoot-offs to survive their first head-to-heads of the tournament.

Woo Seok beat Patrick Huston, after a dramatic comeback, but Eun Gyeong could only muster a seven for her tiebreaker arrow and lost to Germany’s Michelle Kroppen.

It burst the junior women’s event wide open.

When the Korean second seed was promptly despatched by States girl Mackenzie Brown in the quarters – Korea’s hopes of a medal in the junior women’s event were done.

BROWN, who qualified as the seventh seed, had a semifinal against Oceania Rico Garcia from Spain. The match went the full five sets, but Mackenzie closed with a perfect 30 to secure a hard-fought berth in the gold medal match.

“Today it was really challenging, just mentally and physically,” admitted Mackenzie.

“I had to put my physical needs aside because I’m really cold and really wet, but my mental game was on point and my body felt good for shooting.”

Her gold-final opponent in Yankton, Peng Chia-Mao from Chinese Taipei, won her semifinal in straight sets.

Seven might be a lucky number for the USA.

The nation’s top junior men’s qualifier, Collin Klimitchek, also landed the seventh seed on the ranking round. He made it just as far as Brown.

A shoot-off in the fourth round saw Klimitchek, who won individual bronze at the last Archery World Cup stage in Antalya, pull out a good 10 to recover a match he was in command of until the closing stages.

He won his quarterfinal match and then his semifinal in four sets, stopping a Cinderella run from Turkey’s Muhammed Bilal Guneri.

“I definitely had to concentrate extra hard on technique and making good strong shots because was very easy to get side-tracked in this kind of weather,” said Collin, dripping wet.

Guneri, ranked just 38, caught sixth-ranked Sergio Del Olmo napping in the first phase of the morning, won in straight sets and started a run that ended in that semifinal loss to the USA’s Klimitchek and a deserved bronze medal match invitation.

Min Byeongyeon stopped top seed, teammate and Youth Olympic Champion Lee Woo Seok in the second boys’ semifinal.

Klimitchek and Brown shot together in the mixed team but went out in the first round. Their individual campaigns in Yankton have been much more successful.

The cadet women’s final, just as it was at the last Archery World Cup stage, features two Koreans in Yankton: Sim Hyeonseung and Hyeong Yeajin – ranked first and second, respectively.

In the quarterfinals, Sim won a one shoot-of arrow with Mexican Viviana Diaz with a nine. In the semifinal, she had another tiebreaker, this time with fifth-ranked Tanya Giaccheri from Italy. 

Sim shot a nine, Giaccheri a seven. 

Hyeong won her last two rounds over French Oceane Guy and States Eliana Claps – who will shoot for bronze against Giaccheri.

Claps won bronze in the cadet mixed teams with Ryan Oliver. She beat Chinese Taipei Tsai Yu-Ting and Korean Lee Gahyun, claiming a well-deserved place in another bronze medal match.