Williams upsets Ellison in all-USA title bout at World Cup Final

Jack Williams celebrates gold in Yankton

Jack Williams delivered a 10 in a single-arrow shoot-off to upset teammate Brady Ellison in the recurve men’s gold medal match at the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Yankton.

The arrow made Williams the first archer appearing at the season-ending event as a host representative to take gold. It also prevented Ellison from matching Sara Lopez’s record six circuit titles, won yesterday.

“This whole day has been a really good day for me. I’m still riding the high,” said Jack.

“Being able to have the whole crowd here supporting and the whole guest side of the bleachers cheering for home field for both of us and riding all of that energy. It honestly kind of feels good.”

This was the first time the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final was held in the USA.

The two host nation archers were together in Japan just two months ago as members of the USA team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Brady, the top recurve men’s qualifier for Yankton, comfortably beat Mauro Nespoli and Atanu Das to make the final. But it was his compatriot, Williams, who looked like the hot hand rather than the presumptive favourite.

Jack dominated Olympic Champion Mete Gazoz early in their semifinal, opening with eight perfect arrows and a quick, 5-1, lead.

It would take him two more sets to end it but he was a deserved finalist.

There was no fast start for Jack in the final.

Ellison shot sets of 30 and 29 points before Williams responded with his own perfect volley, ensuring the match didn’t run away from him.

At 4-2, in the fourth, Brady had a chance to win it with his last shot.

It landed low and left, just out of the 10-ring in the nine, missing its mark by one… maybe two millimeters. The balance of the match had completely changed.

Williams forced the tiebreak with another perfect set and, after Brady had shot a nine in the shoot-off, the 21-year-old followed with a 10.

“I just kind of… fell back on what I knew,” said Williams. “Just followed my steps and shot a 10.”

It sounds so simple.

“This is definitely the biggest one so far,” said the astonishingly collected new champion during the post-match interview. “I’ve had a lot of first places, but not at a World Cup Final. It definitely feels great.”

Ellison beat Williams for gold at the third stage of the international circuit in Paris.

Now Williams has beaten Ellison for the title at the circuit final.

The silver is yet another medal on the circuit for arguably the most consistent contender of the last decade-plus.

Brady spoke highly of the man that beat him, rather than of his own disappointment.

“Everyone saw how good he shot today, he had the hot hand and he had it all figured out and he shot well and that’s all that matters,” said the world number one.

“To come here and have the first World Cup Final that’s been in the USA and have us as the last match of it, and go down into a shoot-off, I think it’s kinda awesome and a special way to end it.”

Ellison has now medalled at 11 of the 10 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final events for which he has qualified.

Also a three-time Olympic medallist, the most-decorated man on the circuit has now been in eight title matches, winning five of them. He also has two bronze medals from 2013 and 2018.

The bronze medal match in Yankton saw Olympic Champion Mete Gazoz defeat Atanu Das in straight sets.

“I wanted to shoot with Brady for the gold medal but I didn’t make it,” said Mete. “That’s okay. At the next event, the next World Cup Final or world championships, we’ll shoot for gold.”

The podium is a fitting way to close Mete’s Olympic-winning season.

The recurve men’s finals brought competition in Yankton, across the back-to-back Hyundai World Archery Championships and Hyundai Archery World Cup Final, to a close.