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2009 Youth World Archery Championships

July 14 - 21, 2009

Ogden, Utah, USA


News and Photos - FITA website

Results - FITA website


Photos - Gary Holstein


YouTube Slide Show - Tournament Organizers


by Gary Yamaguchi

The Youth World Championships started with a real show – the Opening Flag Ceremony.  Teams lined up alphabetically behind their flag, and marched across the spectator tents, then back around to face the audience.  Some teams were small, with as few as two members, while others appeared to have the entire compliment of three archers per division.  56 countries were represented.  With so many archers dressed in their country’s uniform, and so many flags, it was a colorful, grand event. 

Once the shooting started, it soon became obvious who the strongest countries were.  The US archers pretty much dominated the compound divisions.  In the recurve division, the Koreans posted the top scores.  Joo-Wan Kim set a new Cadet world record in the FITA with a 1380 and made this feat look easy.  Results for the FITA ranking round and the Olympic Round Eliminations can be found by clicking on the following link:  http://www.archery.org/  (Scroll down to World Archery Youth Championships and click on the links to NEWS, RESULTS, or PHOTOS.  There is also a slideshow that can be downloaded.)

Olympic Rounds highlighted the archer’s mettle in head-to-head competition.  The highest seeded archers tended to advance, but with only 12 arrows being shot over a single distance with each match, there were plenty of upsets.   Just about any archer could put together a hot end.  Two such ends together could beat the best in the world!  Winning scores in the later recurve matches sounded like compound scores (115 to 118).  Single-arrow shoot-offs to break ties were common, especially in the compound division.  Many archers were driven to tears after shooting stellar rounds, and losing by a point in a shoot-off. 

A highlight of the event was the team rounds, where three-person teams from each qualifying country competed in each category (Cadet/Junior, Male/Female, Compound/Recurve).  The top sixteen teams were ranked based on the combined individual FITA scores and placed on a single-round elimination chart.  Opposing teams had two minutes each to shoot six arrows (two from each archer) on each end.  Running scores were shown on scoreboards below each target and updated for each of four ends.  Because cheering is encouraged, this was a raucous event.  Shouts of “USA!  USA!” were interspersed with “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie…  Oy!  Oy!  Oy!” as well as chants in other languages.  The US sent compound teams to the medal matches in every division, but all the US recurve archers were eliminated prior to the medal matches.  Despite this, results were encouraging as many of the US recurve teams placed higher than they had in past Junior World tournaments.  The Cadet Men’s recurve team lost to the Korean team (the Koreans shot a world record tying score), gained some valuable experience -- and arranged to exchange their shirts.

The compound Cadet women’s team of Paige Pearce, Kayla Harmeyer, and Kailey Johnston set a new world record of 230 for a 24 arrow match (60 m distance) and finished first.  Not to be outdone, the compound Junior women’s team of Sarah Lance, Kendal Nicely, and Samantha Pruitte also set a new world record of 226 (70 m) and took the gold.  Alexander Sahi (Cadet men), Paige Pearce (Cadet women), and Cody Thompson (Junior men) took gold individual medals in compound. 

On the recurve side, Matthew Zumbo (11th, Cadet men) and Miranda Leek (7th, Cadet women) were the top US placements after the OR eliminations.  Peter Kelchner (31st, Junior men) and Jessica Gibbs (24th, Junior women) were the top US juniors.  Arizonans Kiley Larrick (33rd, Cadet women) and Nathan Yamaguchi (31st, Cadet men) finished well, but with renewed respect and resolve.  In the team rounds, the Junior men’s team finished in 7th place, the Cadet men’s team in 6th, and the Cadet women’s team in 5th place.  These were very respectable finishes among a strong international field.

In summary, the US is still dominant in the compound category, but the foreign competition in the recurve division is well ahead of the US.  However, the US program (particularly the Junior Dream Team) is moving our youth in the right direction.  With continued support and patience the US should expect to be competitive for both compound and recurve medals within a few years. 

The only negative comment I have to say is that parents and well-wishers coming to watch and support their archers during the elimination rounds had limited visibility of the field and were not allowed inside the secure fenced area as there was no room. (editor's note)

Editor's Note:  The Medal Matches were held at Lindquist Field (home of the Ogden Raptors pro baseball team stadium ) which allowed spectators free entry with great seating to watch the Finals.