The selection for Team USA archers has taken a big step forward, with four shooters having earned their spots.
With the 2016 summer Olympics fast approaching Team USA has finally nailed down four archers who will represent the red, white, and blue in Rio.
Team USA archers Mackenzie Brown, Brady Ellison, Zachary Garrett, and Jake Kaminski have earned the honor of representing the USA at the Games this summer. This lineup features the veteran Olympic talent of Ellison and Kaminski, and welcomes Olympic first-timers Brown and Garrett.
It was only after an extensive three stage trial series that these archers finally earned their spot.
Trials generally start about a year in advance of the Games, and the first round is basically open to anyone who wants a shot at being one of the Team USA archers. The top 16 shooters from the first Trial in each gender will advance to the second stage. Typically there is generally quite a wait between round one and round two of the Trials, with the second round coming in the spring.
Round two of the trial period whittles down the field of 16 archers of each gender (32 total) to only eight for each gender (16 total). The final step is the third competition that pits our top archers against each other to finally narrow down the top three archers for each gender.
You might be wondering, “Why did only one female qualify and three males?” Good question. Men and women archers compete separately during the games and each gender holds trials as stated above. However, for a nation to qualify for the team competition in Rio their team must have placed in the top eight during the World Archery Championships held a year prior to the games. In this case, Team USA mens had a top eight finish, but women’s team did not.
That being the case, two women, Hye Youn Park and Khatuna Lorig can still hope to earn a spot as Team USA archers for the female team. There is one final tournament held this year in Antalya, Turkey between nations that did not qualify for the Olympic team event. If the USA women’s team can place in the top three of the non-qualified nations, the two female archers will join Mackenzie Brown in Rio and the U.S. will field a women’s team. If not, Brown will represent the USA as an individual and can medal, but the U.S. will not have a women’s team in competition.
The entire process is designed to get the best shooters in Rio competing on the world stage. At this point we can be proud of our four Team USA archers who will represent the stars and stripes this year.