3 women and 1 man to represent Colombia in Rio

11 July 2016
Medellin (COL)
Rio marks only the second time in archery’s Olympic history that Colombia qualified a women’s team to the Games.

The South American nation previously had a full three-woman quota at Beijing 2008.

Natalia Sanchez and Ana Maria Rendon, who were part of the team that competed on those Games, were officially announced as Rio 2016 Olympians after the Colombian trials finished on 4 July in Medellin. The pair are to be joined by 20-year-old Carolina Aguirre, an Olympic debutant.

Natalia, Ana Maria and Carolina finished top three in selections. Maira Sepulveda, who was part of the team that won the spot at the 2015 World Archery Championships in Copenhagen, with Natalia and Ana Maria, finished fourth and was named the alternate.

“It was a very tough competition because we were fighting for something huge,” said Carolina after making the team. “I have always been taught that the most important thing is to stay strong and confident.”

Colombia’s men will be filled by Andrés Pila, who won the place for London 2012.

“In 2012, I had the chance to win the place for my country but back then I didn’t have enough experience [to go to the Games]. This time it’s my turn,” said Pila. “It was a very stressful weekend because we were all tied and anything could happened. I was focused on winning the most points.”

Pila finished ahead of 2012 Olympian Daniel Pineda, who will be the alternate for Rio.

Andres Pila, 25, has been shooting internationally for more than five years. He won bronze at the 2014 South American Games in Chile, silver at the 2012 Pan American Championships in El Salvador and different podiums with the recurve men’s team at continental events. He finished ninth at the Aquece Rio Test Event in 2015.

Natalia Sanchez, 33, is an Olympian from Beijing 2008. She was the first ever South American world medallist in Ulsan 2009, where she won bronze. Individually and with the Colombian recurve women’s team, Natalia has won medals at Hyundai Archery World Cup stages, continental and other international events. She claimed gold with the recurve women’s team at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.

Ana Maria Rendon, 30, is a two-time Olympian from Beijing 2008 and London 2012. She made her international debut in 2002 and has collected a haul of gold, silver and bronze medals at international archery events. She won an individual silver and claimed gold with the recurve women’s team at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.

Carolina Aguirre, 20, will make her Olympic debut in Rio. She’s been an alternate in the Colombian recurve women’s team since 2015. She won silver at the 2016 Arizona Cup and finished ninth at the Aquece Rio Test Event in 2015

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