Brady Ellison has competed in the World Games archery competitions three times, including the past four days in Birmingham. Each time, he stood on the podium, silver medal hanging around his neck, listening to someone else’s national anthem.
This time, he said, it came down to a pair of errant shots.
“I shot two shots that I should have never shot, just dumb, mental mistakes,” Ellison said after losing to Germany’s Florian Unruh, 66-61, in the Men’s Recurve competition on Tuesday afternoon at Avondale Park. “It’s not so much about the Silver, but just shooting those two shots and not giving myself a chance.”
Ellison, from Globe, Az., has not missed out on much during a career that began when he competed internationally as a child. The 33-year-old has won a pair of world championships, two more world indoor championships and was the Pan American Games champ four times. At times he’s done it while battling knee problems and hand issues.
No doubt, he is one of the world’s best in his sport.
What he hasn’t done, however, is get over the hump in the Olympic Games or World Games. He earned Olympic silver and bronze in the individual competition and another silver in the team competition.
His chance at breaking through on Tuesday took a big hit on the second target when he scored a four out of six. Ellison said he hurried the shot, instead of stepping back and regrouping.
“What makes me mad is I knew I was going to shoot that 4, and I still shot it in on the second target,” Ellison said. “If I would have stepped up there and shot the 6 on that one and shot the 5 [on the next one], I still have a one-point lead going into that next target.”
Two shots later, he scored another four. It didn’t help that Unruh was near perfect after opening with a pair of fours. He connected on seven straight scores of six and walked with the gold medal.
“Not too much pressure because you can’t control what he’s doing,” Ellison said of facing a red hot Unruh.
While the final match didn’t go his way, it was a good competition for Ellison, whose wife, Toja, just missed a medal by finishing fourth in the compound competition.
“I’ve shot poorly all year,” Ellison said. “We still have a few tournaments left to turn this thing around. I shot well this weekend. Technically, form-wise, I shot better this tournament than I have. I’m not disappointed in the scores I shot this week at all, even in the finals matches. I’m good with it.”
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