Casey Kaufhold and Brady Ellison beat Colombia in four sets, 5-1, to win the first recurve mixed team title in the history of the Pan American Games and secure a women’s quota spot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The USA already had a men’s place thanks to Ellison’s world title.
“Shooting with Brady is always fun. I always shoot almost always my best when I shoot with him because he gives me confidence like nobody else does,” said Casey. “It’s just great to be able to shoot next to him and compete with him. He’s just one of the best teammates I could ask for. It’s such an honour to win the medal with him.”
Colombia won the first set in the match, 39 points to 38, but Ana Maria Rendon and Daniel Pineda never hit that level again, shooting sets of 31, 35 and 32 points as the USA took the match.
“Winning the mixed team gold, it’s good,” said Brady. “Casey shot good, I felt like I shot good. And it’s a huge relief for the women to have one spot because now we can all just go do our jobs… now that we know we have athletes going [to Tokyo].”
With the addition of the mixed team competition, securing a women’s place also secures another potential shot at a medal for the USA man at the next Olympics.
Ellison – the current world number one, world champion and new world record holder for the 72-arrow 70-metre round – has been named as the USA team’s flagbearer for tonight’s closing ceremony at the 2019 Pan American Games.
“I’m pretty stoked. They nominated me and I’m super excited,” said Ellison, who then joked: “The world record’s paying off, I guess.”
The mixed team result settled the whole Olympic quota place situation in Lima.
With the USA taking a women’s place in the mixed team event, Rendon is set to be awarded the individual spot available – as no other eligible athlete remains in the final four.
The mixed team men’s place is deferred to the individual competition in which only Brazilian and Canadian archers are still shooting. Each country will receive one of the spaces.
The archery competitions at the 2019 Pan American Games take place on 6-11 August in Lima, Peru.