Kris Schaff collects first major international title with Samsun win

The USA’s Kris Schaff beat host nation representative Demir Elmaagacli, 148-146, in the compound men’s gold medal match at the 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Samsun, Turkey to win his first title on the international circuit.

“I’m super ecstatic about my performance out there today,” said Kris. “I did shoot an eight, which I have done in every gold medal match this year so far, so why not here?”

Schaff started with six perfect arrows, shot another 10 to open the third end and then followed with an eight. He didn’t drop another point.

“This morning, during practice… I was shooting awful, I was messing with my draw and stuff like that,” said Schaff. “After beating Mike [Schloesser], I was like ‘yeah, I’m shooting good enough here. Is all new over here’.”

The 26-year-old dispatched world number one Schloesser in his first match, 146-145, then took out Korea’s Kim Jongho of Korea in the semifinals, 148-147.

Schaff’s opponent for gold, Demir Elmaagacli, didn’t qualify for the 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final but received the invitational spot given to Turkey as the host country. He was, perhaps, the toughest addition to the draw, being a circuit champion from 2015.

If he’d won the final, he would have become the first host nation representative to take gold at the event in its 13-year history. That honour remains for the taking. 

The compound men’s bronze medal match saw Abhishek Verma of India shooting the highest 15-arrow 50-metre match score of all compound archers in Samsun with 149 points to Kim’s 147.

“Every archer wants the gold, but only one archer can get it. It's a big medal, it's been a good year for me. I have medaled at every event this year, all bronze, this is my fifth,” said Verma, who became a father in 2018. “I think my son is lucky for me.”

The Indian man upset defending champion Braden Gellenthien in a one-arrow shoot-off in the quarterfinals but lost to Elmaagacli in the semis by two, before beating Kim to the bronze.

The 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final takes place on 29-30 September in Samsun, Turkey.