Australian Taylor Worth ousts World Number One Brady Ellison at 2012 Olympics
Australian Olympic rookie archer, Taylor Worth has continued his fine form to advance to the round of 16 at the London 2012 Olympic Games being staged at Lord's Cricket Ground. However 23-year-old Arizona archer, Brady Ellison walked off the venerable Lords, St John's Wood, in north west London with a baffled look on his face. Ellison's Olympic dream of individual archery gold was shattered long before it even reached the medal round.
Ellison entered these Olympics with 35 victories in his previous 37 matches and was upset by Australia's Taylor Worth, 7-1, in the round of 32. In the biggest archery upset yet at the London Games, on Wednesday, the World Number One, Brady Ellison of the United States was stunningly knocked out of the individual tournament by Worth.
Earlier in the day, in the round of 64, Worth was up against Great Britain's Alan Wills, a highly talented competitor, known as the most dangerous man in archery, a nickname that owes much to his fiery temper than any waywardness with the bow and arrow. The score was tied at 5-5 at the end of five sets, forcing the clash at Lords into a single-arrow shoot-out. Worth began the shoot out with a 10 and Wills could only respond with an eight, so Worth won 6-5, but Wills was buoyed by the raucous support of 5,000 home fans at the cricket ground. "I was happy to fight back and get a shootout and then my shot was maybe 5mm off the 10. It happens," he said. "Fair play, his was a good shot and that's it. The last four years are all on one shot. I'd have been happy with nine in any other shootout." As a cricket fan, Worth took added pleasure from beating Englishman Wills on the hallowed turf at Lords. British No 1 Larry Godfrey also cruised into the last 16. "It's a privilege to be here," said Worth. "Not many people get to even walk on the grass. Larry Godfrey opened the batting but I just bowled Wills out."
Ellison shot well in the first round, against Mark Javier of the Philippines, scoring 111 points of a possible 120. However Worth shot a higher score in the second round than Ellison even did in the first. Ellison shot 106 in four sets in the round of 32. Worth shot 112. Ellison received one set point to Worth's seven.
While Ellison didn't shoot poorly against Worth, scoring under 8 points on only one arrow (a 7), he was not at the top of his game. Ellison hit a crucial 10 on his last arrow, an arrow shot before that of his opponent. With two 8's to Worth's two 9's, though, he sat only 8 points ahead of the man who only needed to draw to advance. Worth hit his pressure shot as well, with another 9 to knock off the man who travelled to London as the best-ranked archer on the planet.
The wind seemed to pick up a bit when the archers prepared for their match. Worth was consistent throughout with six 10's and had more success playing the wind inside the mecca of cricket, which played havoc with Ellison's mind.
"You feel the wind going the complete opposite way the flags are," Ellison said. "The wind that you feel on you is completely opposite to the flags. So, I would say the wind flags more often than not, aren't right at all. There were a lot of shots that I guessed right on the wind on there and then what I've been doing all week didn't work."
The archery field was placed in one end of the 24,000 seat ground and Ellison struggled badly as he attempted to judge the wind from shot to shot.
"I mean, I had several shots that I thought that were good and didn't hit, I mean, dumbfounded," Ellison said. "Obviously it was either me or Taylor. He guessed the wind a lot better than I did. It's tough, but it's a beautiful stadium and everyone has to do it."
Worth simply handled the wind better than the best archer in the world. Even though he entered the match with confidence, he was cognizant of what he accomplished.
"It was tough. It was unpredictable," Worth said of the wind. "I guess there was variation between the targets, but that's the cut throat game of match play. It's obviously a confidence-boosting win," said Worth. "Brady is the No 1 in the world, a fantastic competitor and a great athlete, he's the best in the world and he's there for a reason," Worth said. "It's a privilege to go up against him. He just brings out the best in me. I know I have to bring my best to even come close and I did that today."
As Worth readied for his quarter final match, Ellison had to re-adjust his plans for the future.
"Get ready for Rio," he said, shrugging his shoulders. "Yeah, definitely. Just get ready for Rio, another four years."
Ellison was still very much a favourite to do damage, but it wasn't to be. "Well to say I'm disappointed, is the least I can do, " Ellison said. "It just sucks."
While the failure of the world's No 1 male archer might have sent shock waves through the sport, the one person who was not surprised was Worth. He defeated Ellison in the 2010 U.S. Open, so he was a confident young man entering his first Olympics. Prior to today, Worth held a 2-0 win-loss record against Ellison with the second of those victories coming in late June in the Olympic qualifying tournament in Ogden, Utah, USA.
"I think winning in 2010 did help," said Worth, 21. "That's the second time. Coming up against the No 1 in the world, having that background knowledge that yes, I could do it, it gave me that extra kick that I needed."
"If I can continue my form from today I'm pretty sure I can go all the way," said Worth. In the next round, Worth meets Xiaoxiang Dai, 21 years of age, from the People's Republic of China on Friday.
Other matches in the round of 16 are
- Im Dong Hyun, aged 26 of South Korea vs Rick van der Ven, aged 21 of The Netherlands
- Markiyan Ivashko, 33 of Ukraine vs Cheng-Wei Kuo, 28 of Taipei
- Takaharu Furukawa, 27 of Japan vs Baard Nesteng, 33 of Norway
- Khairul Anuar Mohamad, 20 of Malaysia vs Larry Godfrey, 36 of Great Britain
- Oh Jin Hyek, 30 of South Korea vs Rafal Dobrowolski, 28 of Poland
- Viktor Ruban, 31 of Ukraine vs Gael Prevost, 18 of France
- Dan Olaru, 15 of Republic of Moldova vs Kim Bubmin, 21 of South Korea
Some points to note
- Dan Olaru from Moldova (in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east and south) is the youngest competitor at only 15 years of age
- Larry Godfrey from the UK is the oldest archer at 36 years
- South Korea still has their 3 members in the competition
- Ukraine has 2 competitors including Victor Ruban, who won Gold at Athens in 2008