Denmark dominant as USA, India also top Antalya team events

Denmark men

Denmark, USA and India took the compound team titles at the opening stage of 2023 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya, Türkiye.

India looked unchallenged in an easy win over Chinese Taipei in the final of the compound mixed team event, but the two USA squads on this morning’s docket – appearing in both the men’s and women’s team finals – struggled to find footholds early. While the US women managed to fight back and beat Colombia, the world-record-breaking US men couldn’t – and lost to Denmark.

The latter match was a meeting of the two top seeds in Antalya.

Hyundai Archery World Cup debutant Tore Bjarnarson and Mathias Fullerton, both 19, combined with former world champion Stephan Hansen to protect their early lead and prevail, 234-233, in a 24-arrow clash that wasn’t as tight as the final scoreline indicated.

“It feels great,” said Fullerton, who was also the top individual qualifier in Türkiye. “We’ve been practising a lot together and we knew we were shooting well and we came out on top, which is always the goal.”

The Danes had a three point lead heading into the final end.

Braden Gellenthien, James Lutz and Sawyer Sullivan came surging back – closing with a 59 – but the margin was too steep. Hansen shouted “yep” as he let the final arrow go, indicating that he’d hit middle. 

He hadn’t… it was a nine. But it was still enough.

This was Hansen’s 10th Hyundai Archery World Cup stage gold medal in the compound men’s team competition and Denmark have now taken at least one stage victory on the circuit in eight of the last 10 seasons stretching back to 2013, when the now-27-year-old won team gold at the world championships just a few kilometres along the coast in Belek.

USA women

The USA enjoyed better fortunes in the compound women’s team final where the country claimed a clutch victory over Colombia, 230-229.

Madison Cox, Cassidy Cox and Danelle Wentzel-Lutz, who was making her debut for a new nation having previously represented her birth country of South Africa, had only qualified in eighth but managed to upset top-seeded India in the quarterfinals to pave a route to the arena.

Another upset win over the South American world champions extended that path to the top of the podium.

“It feels really great, kind of crazy,” said Cox. “It’s my first World Cup and this is the first time we shoot together as a team.”

“We figured each other out very quickly and we just worked through it together.”

Alejandra Usquiano, Sara Lopez and Juliana Gallego Lopez led after two ends but were punished for two nines in the third when the US women didn’t drop a single arrow out of the middle. The one-point advantage that the Colombians held prior was flipped and the USA held the upper hand entering the fourth end.

Both squads closed with a less-than-pretty 54 – the wind beginning to become a real factor.

The compound mixed team event went to India’s new combination of Jyothi Surekha Vennam and Ojas Pravin Deotale, who scored 159 points (one off perfect) in the final and were convincing, five-point winners over Chinese Taipei’s Chen Yi-Hsuan and Chen Chieh-Lun. Vennam returns to the arena this afternoon for the compound women’s final four.

Mixed team bronze went to Malaysia, who beat Italy, 19-18, in a shoot-off.

Competition continues with compound finals this afternoon in Antalya.