Fullerton reaches year's first World Cup final four in Antalya

Mathias Fullerton shooting.

Reigning champion Mathias Fullerton reached the final four of the Hyundai Archery World Cup third stage in Antalya, Turkiye, his first of the year.  

The Dane defeated France’s Jean Philippe Boulch in the compound men quarterfinals 149-148 cementing his spot in the semis of a World Cup stage for the first time in three years, his last being Lausanne 2021.

After the match, Fullerton revealed what exactly he’d been struggling in before coming to Türkiye. “I think I’ve been struggling a little bit with my trigger release being kind of too heavy to press it down. 

“Your mind controls you and it’s such an uncomfortable feeling out there. I tried to embrace it today and it worked a little better. 

“The other times I try to avoid it. It’s something I have to work on.” Despite never winning a stage, Fullerton’s class means he has appeared in the final of each World Cup he has entered since 2021.

The world number two most recently won gold in the Indoor Archery World Series Finals in Las Vegas and believes the culture of archery in the USA increases his performance levels.

“It’s not different for me," he said when asked on his feelings for Saturday. "It’s a little different in the USA, there’s many more people watching, and it feels more intense, but I love the feeling there when it gets a little more tense and high pressure.” 

Fullerton’s semifinal will be against Asian Champion Priyansh who shot 149 in every single match including his third round tie against Indian teammate Prathamesh Bhalchandra Fuge.

The 19 year old admitted he was confident prior Antalya in that he’d find himself in the last four this week. “I am happy, but I was kind of planning it from the beginning to now because this is the last World Cup stage of the season. 

"I better make it a good ending and I’m happy with the result. I was confident yesterday and it paid off.”

The winner will face Mike Schloesser or Emircan Haney in what will most likely be in searing heat as it has been all week.

The Vegas Shoot gold medallist Schloesser expressed his hardships in the conditions. “It was a struggle all day long. Everything was slipping because you were sweating so much.”

Whilst holding a fan, the visibly flustered Meeri-Marita Paas in the compound women’s event was also in disbelief she managed to reach the semis.

“This is horrible. We never get this kind of weather in Estonia so, it takes a really long time to get used to.” 

The Estonian will meet Toja Ellison. Ellison is competing in her first World Cup stage in two years as she has been raising her and husband and recurve men world record holder Brady Ellison’s children, who they have brought with them to Türkiye.

The Yankton 2022 silver medallist went straight to her young son after the result and although pleased with the result, is adamant archery is taking a back seat for now.

“I’m just going to shoot (on Saturday) like I did in qualifications with absolutely no expectations. Archery doesn’t define me anymore. What defines me is how good of a mother I am.”

Yecheon 2024 gold medallist and compound women great Sara Lopez will not be repeating last month's success as she was knocked out by current world number one Ella Gibson.

The Brit reached the final four in Yecheon but lost to Korea’s Han Seungyeon in the bronze medal match with a broken bow.

“I feel like I’m shooting better this week than I was in Yecheon. The blade on my rast, it wasn’t so much broken but bent and it caused some issues.”

She is set to face off against European Indoor Champion Elisa Roner in the arena. 

Compound and recurve eliminations for the mixed teams are scheduled tomorrow morning with recurve eliminations in the afternoon to follow.