Nicholas D’Amour shines in Lausanne as men’s final fours are decided
Nicholas D’Amour all but cemented his status as the breakout star of the season by making the recurve men’s final four at the second stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Lausanne. The 19-year-old upset top seed Mauro Nespoli on Wednesday in a quarterfinal tiebreak.
“I feel like I am one of the top contenders. I feel very strong with my technique, my mental game,” the calmly confident 19-year-old said afterward.
D'Amour will be joined in the arena on Sunday afternoon by world number one and reigning Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion Brady Ellison, Max Weckmueller of Germany and surprise Spanish finalist Yun Sanchez, who at 18 years old is making his debut on the international circuit. The compound men’s final four in Lausanne will see top seed Mike Schloesser look to prevail over challengers Mathias Fullerton, Federico Pagnoni and Adrien Gontier.
D’Amour has been threatening to make a big final for some time.
Four sets into the recurve men’s quarterfinals, three duels were tied at 4-4 – and it was only D'Amour who trailed, looking unlikely to pull off an upset over the favourite Nespoli. But he recovered, forcing the shoot-off and delivering an excellent 10 to win it.
“Today, I was focused on myself and on what I have to do. There were definitely moments that I was getting more nervous, but I pushed through them and tried to maintain focus on my process,” he said.
“When he won that set for 5-3, it was a moment when I wasn’t really focused on what I should do. In the next set, I shot a 29, he shot a 27. I was much more focused then, and I could prevail. It was 5-5, but I had a lot of confidence before the shoot-off. I am usually quite good at shoot-offs.”
He’s right. Including at this tournament, where he’s won two, the young archer has an 80% win rate in tiebreaks.
Brady Ellison is the most experienced of the four recurve semifinalists. He is eager to win gold after his disappointing result at the season opener in Guatemala City, where he lost his first match after seeding top.
The world champion’s resilience was on display on Wednesday after losing two sets to Luis Alvarez in the quarters.
“In the set system, nothing’s really scary unless it’s 6-0. The wind was fun today. It was a lot right-left, right-left. In that match, it started switching, so I figured that I’d have a chance because I can generally shoot decent in the wind,“ Ellison said.
“I just started to shoot some good arrows, and he got a little bit nervous. He started letting down, and I saw that. [In the last set,] I knew that if I put my first arrow into the 10 or close, I would probably put enough pressure on him that he’d not match me if I was able to shoot a 29 or a 30. I was just able to go and do it.”
In the semifinals, D’Amour will shoot against Max Weckmueller and Ellison against Yun Sanchez.
The reigning compound men’s circuit champion, Mike Schloesser, finished runner-up to Braden Gellenthien at the first stage of the year in Guatemala City. Gellenthien qualified third here. But like second seed Stephan Hansen, he was eliminated early.
Schloesser now finds himself in a second consecutive final four – but with less experienced opponents. Having barely been challenged in three comfortable wins during the eliminations, he will be the favourite on Saturday.
“Today went, like, with really high scores. I was really good, I was really active with seeing what the wind conditions were because they were changing every shot. I feel like I won some points definitely with that and I’m really happy with how I shot as well,” said Mike. “Of course, if I keep shooting like this I can definitely make a good final on Saturday.”
Schloesser will shoot against Mathias Fullerton first, while Adrien Gontier faces Federico Pagnoni in the semis.
Competition continues in Lausanne with the women’s eliminations on Thursday morning and the mixed team eliminations on Thursday afternoon.
Archers are listed in match order, with their seed in brackets. The first two archers face each other in the first semifinal, the second two in the second semifinal.
- Yun Sanchez, Spain (14)
- Brady Ellison, USA (2)
- Nicholas D’Amour, US Virgin Islands (8)
- Max Weckmueller, Germany (12)