The United States went into the final day of the World Archery Youth Championships with a chance to bring home three different golds in Recurve Junior competition.
Korea, however, had a better day Sunday, and made the final medal count rather close.
The traditionally strong recurve archers from Korea captured first place in eight of their nine gold medal matches, with the only silver medal coming in an all-Korean showdown.
In the end, though, the United States won the medal race with 14 on the weekend, while Korea captured 11 medals – the next nearest country (Turkey) had five.
“Silver medal is ok,” said Team USA shooter Zach Garrett. “I think that bronze medalists are always happier because you go out on a win and you can’t help fell like you have won silver, but have lost gold.
“They are generally pretty good so we expected it to be a good match.”
First up Sunday was the Men’s team competition between the USA and the Korea. The Koreans were able to get to a hot start and beat USA, 6-0, in straight sets. The USA team of Collin Klimitchek, Caleb Miller and Garrett struggled in the beginning not able to find their stride until the third round, which they only lost by one point.
Klimitchek then took on Korea’s Min Byeongyeon in the gold medal match for the Men’s individual division and lost, 7-1, earning the silver medal.
“It was hard-fought for sure,” Klimitchek said. “I wish I could have taken home gold, but I am definitely grateful for making it to the finals.
“I don’t like seeing them (Korea) in first, so I’m going to work harder and I am going to try and beat them.”
In the USA’s final match of the day Sunday, Mackenzie Brown also earned silver against Chinese Taipei’s Chia-Mao Peng. Brown got to an early lead winning the first two rounds, but Peng heated up and shot eight 10s in her final nine shot to take the match, 6-4.
-- Michael Hammond
Brazilian Part Of Both Medals
As the 10 archers from Brazil prepare to leave Yankton after a week and a half stay, they will leave with two medals.
All thanks to Marcus Dalmedia.
The 17-year-old Brazilian archer won the gold medal Sunday in the Recurve Cadet Men, and also helped lead Brazil to the bronze in the Recurve Cadet Men Team.
Dalmeida was therefore able to stand on the awards podium twice Sunday, hearing his country’s national anthem during his individual awards ceremony.
“That was a beautiful moment,” Dalmeida said later.
In his individual final, Dalmeida was matched up with Jan Van Tongeren from the Netherlands. The Brazilian was able to win 6-2.
“It was a nice match; beautiful,” Dalmeida said. “It was my dream to be at a world championship.
“I’m first,” he added, pausing. “First in the world.”
Dalmeida will head back to Brazil, but only for a short time. He will next compete at the Pan American Games, which will be held July 10-26 in Toronto.
How does his gold medal experience in Yankton help him for the future?
“The experience is the best,” he said. “Maybe it is possible to do this again.”
— Jeremy Hoeck
Next WAYC: Argentina
As part of the closing ceremonies on Sunday afternoon, World Archery president Uger Erdener passed the organization flag on to a dignitary from Argentina. It was a kind of torch passing, from one tournament to the next.
It was announced earlier this year that Buenos Aires, Argentina, will be the next host of the World Archery Youth Championships, in 2017.
Melissa Regnasco, a 19-year-old archer from Argentina, will have passed the age limit by that point, which understandably is a source of good-natured disappointment.
“I wish I had another chance,” Regnasco said.
“It’s a big opportunity to let people know about Argentina. We are growing, and that tournament is essential.”
Regnasco, who previously competed at the 2013 WAYC in China, raved Sunday about Yankton serving as the host this year.
“The town was great,” she said. “The kindness of the people was very welcoming.”
Regnasco’s teammate Leonel Ezequiel Aranda echoed those thoughts, saying – through translation – that he enjoyed his stay in Yankton.
“It was a very good experience,” said the 15-year-old Aranda, who was competing in his first international tournament.
“I liked everything about this.”
Aranda will likely be a contender to compete in the 2017 WAYC in his home country.
“I’m very happy,” he said. “We will all be proud.
“I hope the tournament will be very good.”
-- Jeremy Hoeck