The Rio 2016 Olympic individual bronze medallist was only one off perfect.
Brady Ellison scored 599 out of a possible 600 points at the third stage of the 2016/17 Indoor Archery World Cup in Nimes, France to break his own world record for the 60-arrow 18-metre indoor ranking round by a single point, dropping just one arrow out of the 10 ring during his qualification.
After dropping the 30th arrow, the last of the first half, out of the 10-ring high and to the right, he needed to shoot a perfect back half to better the 598-point score – the standing world record – he shot at stage one of the season’s indoor circuit in Marrakesh, Morocco.
Ellison had shot 27 more consecutive 10s heading into the final end and needed just three more.
“I wasn’t really stressed but I did get nervous after the first shot. The way I was thinking about it was I already have the world record. I’m ranked number one whatever I really do this end, so might as well just go up there and shoot three good arrows and keep my timing,” said Ellison. “It’s a lot less likely to miss if I get it off quick than if I hold too long.”
His first two arrows were inside-out 10s. The last kicked to the left: “I pushed a little too much on my front arm, but it’s still a half-shaft in. It’s good.”
From the shooting line, the vanes of the last arrow obscured its position, and while Brady was checking the arrow through the binoculars it was the crowd behind that called it in.
“I was shaking too much with the binoculars to be able to see anything,” Ellison said.
“I shot one of the best rounds I’ve ever shot today. For eight ends, I didn’t miss a baby [compound] X. I think I probably shot 55 Xs today, and even with the one nine it’s just really good shooting.”
Two qualification sessions remain in Nimes but, with the Korean teams having already completed their rounds, it seems highly unlikely anyone will shoot the first perfect recurve round indoors to knock Brady Ellison out of the top seed in the men’s event.