Brady Ellison, the top-ranked U.S. archer for much of the last decade and once No. 1 in the world, finally has a global championship.
Ellison, a 30-year-old with three Olympic medals (but none gold) became the first American to win an individual world title in archery’s Olympic discipline — recurve — since 1985 in ‘S-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, on Sunday.
“I’ve always wanted it so bad, and then just I’d get there and make a little mistake and go out in the quarters and don’t give myself the chance,” Ellison said, according to USA Archery. “I shot good here, I’ve been shooting good all year and it just hasn’t sunk in yet. I’ll start crying soon.”
Ellison needed a tiebreaking shoot-off in the final against Malaysian Khairul Anuar Mohamad to grab that first gold. He delivered a perfect arrow for a 10-8 win.
Ellison entered the 2012 London Games as the world’s top-ranked archer but was eliminated in the round of 32. He helped the U.S. to team silver earlier in the Games. Ellison came to Rio ranked sixth in the world and left with individual bronze (missing the gold-medal match via semifinal shoot-off) and another team silver.
The last American to earn an Olympic archery title was Justin Huish, the ponytailed, backwards-cap wearing phenom who swept individual and team titles at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
“Now I need that Olympic gold medal,” Ellison said, according to USA Archery. “And I’m going to get it next year.”
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