USA men edge tight race for pole at final Olympic qualifier

Jacob Wukie shoots during the final qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The United States secured the top seed in the recurve men’s team event with a surging second half on Saturday at the final qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Paris, France.

Brady Ellison (689), Jack Williams (674) and Jacob Wukie (668) scored a combined 2031 points over the 72-arrow, 70-metre qualification round.

“We came here expecting to shoot good. We had some ups and downs, but we shot well,” said Olympic medallist Wukie, who is making his return to the US squad at this event.

“We’re looking forward to the team rounds. I expect some really good matches.”

There are three men’s team quotas for the Olympics available in Saturday's tournament – and 36 countries battling for them. A high seed secured this morning could prove decisive when the Tokyo tickets are decided later this afternoon.

Germany, Italy, France, Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Canada joined the USA in the top eight.

These teams receive a bye into the second round, meaning they only need to win three consecutive matches, rather than four (or two and then the bronze final) to secure one of the quotas.

Jeff Henckels celebrates taking top seed at the final Olympic qualifier for Tokyo 2020.

Twelve teams did not make the cut and are eliminated from the competition. Sri Lanka, Colombia, Czech Republic, Austria, Uzbekistan, Slovakia, Egypt, Hong Kong China, Georgia, Sweden, Latvia and Azerbaijan will not have full men’s quotas in Tokyo.

The recurve men’s team qualifier concludes on Saturday afternoon.

Individual quota places in both the recurve men’s and recurve women’s competitions will be awarded on Monday.

As it stands, Jeff Henckels of Luxembourg will start that event as the top seed, having shot a career-best 682-point qualifying round, with Russia’s Galsan Bazarzhapov and Switzerland’s Florian Faber ranked second and third, respectively.

“I knew I can do well, but to do such a result in a competition is something I always wanted,” Henckels said. “I hope it gives me some confidence but now everything starts from zero, it doesn’t matter if you were the first or the last one.”

All 94 eligible recurve men advance to matchplay; however, the list could be diminished if any archers qualify as a team today instead.

Top 8 seeds: Recurve men’s team

  1. USA flag USA – 2031
  2. GER flag Germany – 2028
  3. ITA flag Italy – 2023
  4. FRA flag France – 2022
  5. RUS flag Russia – 2021
  6. INA flag Indonesia– 1999
  7. MAS flag Malaysia – 1998
  8. CAN flag Canada – 1997

Top 8 seeds: Recurve men

  1. Jeff Henckels, Luxembourg – 682
  2. Galsan Bazarzhapov, Russia – 675
  3. Florian Faber, Switzerland – 674
  4. Beligto Tsynguev, Russia – 674
  5. Aldar Tsybikzhapov, Russia – 672
  6. Robert Nam, Tajikistan – 671
  7. Alen Remar, Croatia – 669
  8. Jarno de Smedt, Belgium – 669