Lopez adds Medellin individual title to home haul
Sara’s long list of accomplishments at the age of 20 already included Archery World Cup Final Champion (in 2014), world record holder for the 15-arrow match and 72-arrow ranking round, world titles in junior and senior team competition - and a pair of individual gold medals at Archery World Cup stages.
At Medellin 2015, on home soil in Colombia, she added a third.
Into a gold final against Paige Pearce, after dispatching archers Natalia Avdeeva, Yesim Bostan and bronze medal winner Maria Eugenia Gonzalez Briozzo during the eliminations, Lopez had a serious amount of support in the stands.
Sara’s mother, father and brother - and friends – had all turned up to watch.
Both archers were loose in the first end.
Pearce, who had team bronze with the USA squad earlier in the day and said the change to shoot on the finals field before her individual medal match was a good opportunity to get sighted in, had three nines.
Lopez had a point more, and another point more in the second. The Colombian archer had a 57-55 lead after six arrows.
In the third, each competitor put in a crowd-pleasing 30, then followed it up with a 29 in the fourth.
Still two points ahead entering the last three-arrow series, Colombia’s Sara Lopez dropped 10, after 10, after 10 into the target. Another perfect 30, another roar from the crowd and a win in front of friends and family, in Colombia, on the Archery World Cup circuit.
“It was a very tight match and it was just at the end that I knew how to close it properly,” she said. “This is the first time my family has seen me winning not only one but two gold medals.”
Silver medallist Paige said the final was her favourite type of match.
“It was awesome! It was exciting and it felt good,” Paige said. “But it just wasn’t quite good enough. I didn’t shoot as many 10s as I would like to – though it was better than expected.”
The silver was Paige’s first senior individual podium on the Archery World Cup circuit, while it was a second gold on the year for Lopez after opening the season with a win in Shanghai.
Another 25 points – for winning – put Sara to the top of the World Cup rankings and secured her the top seed for the 2015 Archery World Cup Final in Mexico City, where she will defend the circuit crown she won in Lausanne in 2014.