Gellenthien beats reigning champ Schloesser in Guatemala men’s final

Mike Schloesser and Braden Gellenthien in the compound men’s final in Guatemala City.

World number one Braden Gellenthien beat world number two Mike Schloesser, 148-146, to win the compound men’s gold medal at the first stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup. Two-time circuit champion Gellenthien secures an automatic qualification spot for this season’s Hyundai Archery World Cup Final with the victory.

“I really didn’t know what to expect,” Gellenthien said. “It’s been a long lay-off, almost two years since we’ve been shooting World Cups, so the nerves were there a little bit more in the first match than I would have liked.”

“But I got through it. I handled them well.”

Gellenthien lost the gold medal match at the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final to Schloesser, who took the top seed in Guatemala City with a perfect first 36 arrows on the way to a 717-point qualification round earlier in the week.

The Dutchman alluded to fatigue throughout the tournament, despite delivering impressive results on the way to the title match after beating USA archer Kris Schaff in the semifinals, delivering a 10 in a shoot-off.

“Last week, this time, I didn’t know if I was able to compete,” Schloesser said. “I came here with no expectations. I didn’t touch my bow for like eight, nine days, maybe even more. Walking away with a silver medal is just great.”

Braden Gellenthien and Mike Schloesser celebrate after the gold medal match of the first stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Guatemala City.

Gellenthien advanced to the final by beating Jozef Bosansky of Slovakia, 145-142, to earn a rematch against Schloesser. 

The two were tied after two ends, 59-59, until Braden pulled away with three 10s in the third to gain a lead he never relinquished.

“Any time you’re shooting against Mike, you know you need to bring your A-game,” Gellenthien said. “You’re expecting perfection from him, and you need to bring it yourself. I think we both shot at a pretty high level, and I was lucky to come up on top.”

Schaff joined Gellenthien on the podium by beating Bosansky in the bronze medal match.

Gellenthien leaves Guatemala City with the sixth stage victory of his career on the international circuit, and he has his sights set on more as the international season progresses.

The next stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup is scheduled for next month in Lausanne, Switzerland – and is followed by a third stop in the French capital of Paris in June.

“I want to win them all,” he said.

This victory in Guatemala has qualified Braden for his ninth-career Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.