Brady back on podium as he qualifies for 10th Hyundai Archery World Cup Final

Brady Ellison finished with a 10 and let out his emphatic, signature roar as he beat Lee Woo Seok in the recurve men’s final in Medellin and won his first stage of the international circuit in three years, qualifying for his 10th consecutive Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in the process.

“It’s emotional, man. It’s been a long frickin’ time. You know it’s funny when we were coming out to the podium Kim Woojin was like ‘welcome back.’ And coming from him I think it’s a strong statement,” he said. The last time he won a stage was also in Medellin, back in 2016.

“I think I’m back. I think I’m only going to get stronger. I’m still nervous about these tournaments because it’s been so long. I still need to keep working, I still need another couple of months and then I’ll be back to 100%. Yeah, then there’s more to come; maybe that 700.”

Brady came determined to win. He qualified first in Medellin with 692 points over the 72-arrow 70-metre round and shot one of the best matches of his career in the semifinals, finishing that with three perfect sets.

Having put on a good – but not exceptional – performance in a losing effort in the mixed team final, the world number seven was dialled in for his individual match.

He opened with a 29, averaging the same over the 12 arrows and didn’t lose a set.

With the score at 5-1 and needing a 10 with his final arrow, Brady delivered. He never looked in danger of losing to Lee Woo Seok, the current world number one.

“I’m shooting great. Sjef, I mean look at the last two matches he’s been shooting. The Koreans are always in there. And there’s a lot of other guys stepping up,” said Ellison, when asked if this level would be maintained through the season.

“I’m just going to keep working my butt off, and just get ready for worlds and got a tough tournament schedule, shoot a ton of arrows in between each tournament and hopefully just keep winning.”

This win brings his career total of stage victories on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit to seven. Given that he also has four Hyundai Archery World Cup Final titles, too, it proves just how hard these are to come by.

After Medellin, both he and Sara Lopez are now qualified for the season-ending event. They are the two archers that have the most circuit champion titles, tied on four.

The recurve men’s bronze medal match between Sjef van den Berg and Kim Woojin was even more dramatic.

Sjef started with two perfect sets but only opened up a 3-1 lead. Woojin drew level in the third, 29-28, and they split the fourth set, 28 points apiece.

Kim Woojin shot a perfect 30 in the fifth to steal the match – after one of Sjef’s arrows landed out just out of the 10-ring.

The Korean world number three’s average arrow score had him on pace for shooting above 700 for a 72-arrow round (which is his world record). Sjef only dropped one more point than Woojin in the match.

The first stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup was held on 22-28 April in Medellin, Colombia.