Valladont ousts Brady in elite Antalya final

Jean-Charles Valladont beat the USA’s Brady Ellison over a four-set final in the last match of the second leg of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya, Turkey, posting three 29-point sets in the process and closing with a determined 10 to take his first title since coming second at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“It was great to be able to beat him but even more so we had a great match. We are archers. We want everyone to have a great time and we want to put on a great show and challenge ourselves,” said Valladont. 

“Brady is kind of like my arch-rival. We’ve met on many separate occasions: indoor, outdoors, in all formats. We’re almost the same age. We both love outdoor activities. He is someone who has accomplished so much – much more than me in fact.” 

Brady, who finished one spot below JC on the podium at the Olympics, was the number one seed in Antalya.

He fell 4-0 down, shooting a pair of 28-point sets to Valladont’s two 29s, then won the third, 27-26. With a chance to guarantee a fifth set, and needing a 10 to do so, Ellison threw down an eight, leaving the door open for the Frenchman to seal victory.

Valladont needed a nine to win, but drilled a determined 10.

“All the arrows I shoot, I shoot to hit a 10. If I had hit a 9 It would have been a little disappointing as it would have meant I missed what I was aiming for,” the Frenchman said.

Ellison, who won his fourth Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in 2016, explained that he had been aiming in the right eight – where his last arrow landed – for the duration of the match, to prevent his arrows drifting left with the wind: “The last arrow I just didn’t see the wind, didn’t feel it, and then it hit right.”

“It would have been tough [to win],” Brady added. “I had to shoot 30s to win, 29s to tie. It would have been a very, very tough match to win. I think if I was shooting as good as I could have then yeah, I might have been able to win that match, but the way he shot it would have been really tough.”

“He outshot me.”

The gold medal in Antalya pushes Valladont to the number one spot in the world rankings for the first time in his career when the new list is released on the Monday following the second stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup.

“In France, only one person managed to do that in the past, it was Lionel Torres,” he said. “It is a true delight for me. How long it will last, I don’t know – but I will do the maximum I can in Salt Lake City to keep going and stay world number one as long as possible.”

“What really gives me the most joy, though, is to be on the podium. I like winning events and coming back with medals. That‘s what sticks.”

David Pasqualucci beat Thomas Chirault to recurve men’s bronze.

The second stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup runs 6 to 11 June in Antalya, Turkey.