Seventeen-year-old Casey Kaufhold took the silver medal at the 2021 Hyundai World Archery Championships in Yankton, South Dakota, making it the first time in 33 years an American has medaled at the event.
Kaufhold shot in the semi-finals against An San of South Korea, besting the Olympic gold medalist after a close competition. Kaufhold opened with two 29s to San’s 28s and taking an early 4-0 lead. San came back with a 28 to Kaufhold’s 27, but then dropped a 24 leaving the door wide open for Kaufhold. The U.S.’s young phenom closed with two solid 10s for a 28 and the 6-2 win.
“I literally thought of it as I have nothing to lose,” shared Kaufhold on worldarchery.org, as she went into the final round. “I’m 17 and I’ve only been shooting international tournaments for like three years, so why hold back. I put everything out there, didn’t hold back pretty much and that was my main goal, to leave it all out there on the stage.”
Kaufhold then competed against Korea’s Olympic team gold medalist Jang Minhee in the final and came up just short in three quick sets to finish with the silver.
“Gold would’ve been great but I think, throughout, I kept composure and I had a good performance," said Kaufhold. "To win a medal on home soil is just great,” she said, noting, “I was able to have my mom here and my coach Heather [Pfiel] here just having that support and all my teammates and fans cheering as well, the atmosphere was just great.”
Kaufhold said she didn’t have as good of a year as she would have liked, "but to end the senior international season with a silver at the world championships is just great. I’m super happy with how I shot, I kept myself composed throughout and I really just couldn’t be happier.”