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Colombian archers asked: “What’s it like to shoot at home?”

10 May 2014
Medellin (COL)
A fast-rising competitive nation across all divisions, Colombian athletes really enjoy shooting at Medellin: their home stage of the Archery World Cup.

Colombia’s compound women archers have been doing quite a good job of winning worldwide recognition in recent years.

With the second stage of the 2014 World Cup about to start in Medellin, Sara LOPEZ and Alejandra USQUIANO – two of Colombia’s best-known names – are getting ready to give their best.

“I don’t feel any pressure at all. I think Medellin is the city in which I have shot the most,” said LOPEZ. “Competing as a local means my family will be cheering, something I can’t experience when overseas.”

Despite her peep-sight problem in the Shanghai 2014 gold medal match just a couple of weeks ago, LOPEZ’s dream is to keep on winning or – at least – stay in the top 3.

“I don’t mean it’s easy, but in every championship I have competed this year, I have won. My dream is becoming real… I have the points from Stage One in Shanghai and that gives me a great chance to qualify for the big final in Lausanne.”

USQUIANO, her teammate and good friend, is equally as excited: “Competing at home is a joy because we have the opportunity to show our loved ones what we feel when abroad – and how special it is to be on the podium with a Colombian flag.

She even added some confident words about her progress since winning her World Cup Champion title by beating Erika JONES at Paris 2013: “we have been working very hard, getting ready for this season. Here in Medellin, I’m aiming high.”

The atmosphere in Medellin is heating up with the arrival of teams from around the world.

During practice this week, 2009 world champion JOO Hyun Jung shot a 70-metre robin hood that caught the attention of the Colombians, Argentineans and Egyptians training at the time.

A sign of what’s to come from Korea?

In spite of the ridiculous shot, the Colombian recurve women – who recently picked up women’s team Silver at Shanghai – are not afraid.

First ever South American world medalist Natalia SANCHEZ is confident: “we are keeping calm.” With new top coach Richard PRIESTMAN on board, the team has serious potential to tap into.

Her teammates Ana Maria RENDON and Maira SEPULVEDA agree.

“This is where we train every day, where we feel more comfortable and where we don’t have any pressure at all in front of our local fans,” said RENDON.

“Home is a word that means pride,” explained SEPULVEDA. “Especially when not everybody gets the chance to represent their country. I am a little nervous, though!”

As more teams arrive in Medellin – Chile, Luxembourg, Italy, Demark, Great Britain, India and Peru are next to step off the plane – competition draws ever closer. Tune in for official practice next Tuesday and the ranking round on Wednesday.