Ellison confident title still in the cards after slow start in Guatemala

Brady Ellison and Gijs Broeksma bump fists after their eliminations match at the first stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Guatemala City.

Reigning Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion Brady Ellison did not have the best result of his career to open this new season.

He did start proceedings in Guatemala with the fourth 690-plus qualification score of his career on the circuit. But things unravelled quickly, with a four-set loss to the Netherlands’s Gijs Broeksma in his first match of the individual eliminations.

It resulted in a 17th-place finish and exactly one ranking point toward qualification for the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.

“I really shot good all week. I got beat in that individual, he shot really well,” Brady said at the end of the competition week. “I shot good in teams, came away with a silver and had another chance at a medal with Casey [Kaufhold] in the mixed teams.”

Ellison was arguably unlucky in his individual loss.

He averaged 28 points a set against Broeksma, who was simply better, nearing a mean of 29 and avoiding the wild arrows that sunk his chances of a larger result in Guatemala in the subsequent round.

“I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing. I’m feeling really good. I just gotta get to the point where I’m shooting 30s on command,” Ellison said.

“I know that I’m right there, I just need to be a little bit luckier.”

The problem is that, in this season shortened to three rather than four stages due to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, opportunities to qualify for the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final are few and far between – and what’s more, they’re uncertain, given the constantly changing travel restrictions.

“We’re hoping we can make it to Lausanne. We’re hoping we can get permission to go as a sports team,” Brady said. “Paris is going to be a big one, not only for the Olympic spots but for the Final, as well.”

Ellison is on a quest for a record-sixth Hyundai Archery World Cup title in 2021.

There are three viable routes for him to qualify for the season-ending invitational event. The first is as a stage winner, now either in Lausanne or Paris, the second is on ranking points and the third is as Olympic Champion.

“If I can go to Lausanne, I think I’ll have a lot better chance at it,” he said. “If I can only go to Paris, it’ll be kind of a win situation, which will make it a lot harder, but I’m still confident.”

“I got knocked out early this time, but next time I’m planning on not doing that.”

India’s Atanu Das is the first recurve man to qualify for the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final, winning an automatic invitational as champion at the season opener in Guatemala City. 

The host of the season-ending event is yet to be announced.