Colombia’s Lopez seeds top at Medellin World Cup leg
“I feel like it was hard the first round because it was windy and I was thinking about showing everyone my usual scores,” said Sara Lopez.
“Then I tried to relax and my coach came to me and told me to have fun. I started thinking about my family and my cat.”
Lopez knuckled down, shot five points more over the back half of the 72-arrow ranking round than the first 36 arrows, and ended up with 701 for qualifying.
It was enough to put Colombia’s defending Archery World Cup Champion five points clear of the rest of the field and secure the first seed.
For a city that’s pulled its focus towards the fourth and last Archery World Cup stage on the season-long tour, Lopez starting her Medellin 2015 campaign by topping the ranking round is the perfect start for the Colombian team.
And for Lopez, Medellin is the perfect city in which to do it.
“It’s the best city in Colombia to shoot in because you never have crazy conditions. The weather is the same as my home so I’m used to it,” she explained.
“The energy of the city is amazing because everyone is so friendly. I spend every weekend here, so I’m used to it.”
Sara comes from Pereira, a five- to six-hour drive from Medellin.
“I told my teammates this morning that I thought this was not like a World Cup but a vacation with my friends. I’m having fun shooting and I don’t want to think about the points for the Finals, medals or records – but just having fun with my friends, because it’s the last time I get to shoot the circuit this year.”
Fourth in the Archery World Cup rankings arriving in Medellin after a gold medal in Shanghai and a ninth-place finish in Antalya, Sara didn’t attend stage three, in Wroclaw, but remains in a good position to qualify for Mexico City 2015.
“I want to show everyone that I didn’t go to Poland because I was saving everything for this event,” she said.
The world’s number one ranked compound woman came into Medellin in good form. Just one week before the tournament, she set a new ranking round world record – for the third time in a row.
“When I shot the 706 I said my goal for this year was 710, then I went to Antalya and shot 708 – so I thought 710 was really possible,” she said.
“But 713 is crazy. I still see the target and it’s amazing, it’s crazy.”
During the Colombian team trials in Medellin, Sara dropped just seven points over the 72-arrow 50-metre ranking round. It was officially ratified as a new world record shortly before the Archery World Cup stage in Medellin began.
“I had three mistakes and the rest I don’t know what happened. So I would say 716, probably, is what I can do. I’m not sure, I still have to work,” Sara explained.
If she works hard enough this week, after her excellent start, she’ll make an event finals with some serious home crowd support – as her family arrives for the weekend.
“My mum, my dad and probably my brother. I’m not sure because he has school. I told them to bring my cat but they said no,” Sara said!
She won’t be focusing on who’s in the stands, though: “It’s really hard to keep in mind that you don’t have to show other people you’re good, just show yourself.”