Names of Rio 2016 host team Brazil announced
The selection procedure for Brazil’s Olympic archery team started in early-2016, with a number of selection tournaments.
In May, the squad was cut to just eight, from which the six men and women to go to the Games would be chosen from their performances at the Hyundai Archery World Cup stages in Medellin and Antalya.
The official team was revealed ahead of the Games’ final entry deadline on 17 July.
Marcus D’Almeida, Daniel Rezende and Bernardo Oliveira make up the men’s team and Sarah Nikitin, Ane Marcelle Dos Santos and Marina Canetta the women’s trio. Michelle Acquesta and Marcelo Costa were named alternates.
Only Rezende has previous Summer Olympic experience – he finished 33rd in London – though Marcus won silver at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.
Oliveira said that being selected for Rio was a “big relief” as since it was announced as host city in 2009, all the team had been hearing was about the Games. He finished second over the selection trials.
“Our selection process was very long. It was challenging and tense because everyone in Brazil put a lot of effort into making the team, since it’s such an historical moment for us,” he continued. “I guess it’s the same for any country hosting the Olympics.”
Bernardo was part of a young athletes programme that took Olympic hopefuls to the Games in London, with preparation for Rio in mind.
“The atmosphere of the city, the energy of the Games and whenever Great Britain was competing it was crazy,” he recalled. “And now that’s here [in Rio]… and being part of it is an honour.”
Oliveira said the team’s hopes for Rio were simple:
“We want a medal. It doesn’t matter if it’s a team or individual, men or women. Archery is already receiving a lot of support and attention in Brazil, and an Olympic medal would be the ultimate boost. And our latest international results give us the confidence to be chasing such a goal.”
Bernardo, Daniel and reserve Marcelo finished fourth as a team at stage three of the 2016 Hyundai Archery World Cup.
Marcus D’Almeida, 18, was the first Brazilian archer to win a medal at an Olympic event, taking silver at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing. He followed that up with a second place at the Archery World Cup Final in Lausanne the same year. He is the reigning World Archery Youth Champion in the cadet division.
Daniel Rezende, 33, was Brazil’s lone archer at London 2012. He started archery in 1993, made his international debut in 2001 and recently climbed the podium at the 2015 Pan Am Games, with his Rio teammates, where they finished second.
Bernardo Oliveira, 23, qualified Brazil’s Olympic space to London when he was 19 in 2012, but attended as an observer to gain experience. Making his Olympic debut on home soil, Bernardo shot in his first ever world-stage finals match at leg three of the 2016 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya. The Brazilian men finished fourth, losing bronze to the USA.
Sarah Nikitin, 27, made her international debut in 2005. Her highest individual finish came in 2013, when she made the last eight at the World Archery Championships in Belek. She has a mixed team silver medal on her record from Medellin 2014.
Marina Canetta, 27, has been a member of the Brazilian team since 2013. She made the last 16 of the individual competition of the South American Games in 2014 – and picked up her first big medal at an open international event in Guatemala at the start of 2016.
Ane Marcelle Dos Santos, 22, had the best results of her career at stage two of the 2016 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Medellin. She made the mixed team bronze final, with Marcus – her first appearance in the finals arena – and finished ninth individually. The Rio native has history in the Sambodromo, too: She’s performed in the annual Samba carnival that the stadium is purpose-built for.