Wednesday was a memorable day for para archery as a new world record was set by the United States at the Juan Enrique Barrios Cup in Puerto Rico.
The United States managed a combined score of 2063 points in the compound men’s team ranking round which is a new world record in the event. The team of Kevin Polish, Ben Thompson, and Andre Shelby also ended up taking the top three spots in the individual rankings.
Polish topped the standings with 692 points with Thompson in second with 688 and Shelby just behind with 683 points. The Americans may already have the tournament stitched up, despite scores being reset for the competitive rounds but these three are the clear favourites.
Shelby has been especially popular at the event, getting asked for autographs by fans at every turn, surprising him. No doubt that came due to his being a gold medallist, with Puerto Rico competing independently of the United States that is a rare sighting on the territory.
The weather in the ranking round was phenomenally difficult for the archers, with rain and high humidity making accuracy hard to come by. That makes the United States’ achievement all the more impressive, with Shelby believing they could have had even higher scores if this was an indoor event.
Breaking the record sets up a thrilling season, with the world championships set for later this year in Beijing. The Americans broke Italy’s record, a record that when Italy set it, the United States’ performance at the 2015 world championship would also have been enough for the record.
The tournament in Puerto Rico runs until May fifth with the United States expected to claim the medals.