Cojuangco sighting in on World Games success
Amaya Cojuangco is an 11-year veteran of the international archery circuit. She’s found consistent success on the Asia circuit but, at the world-level, collected just a single podium finish at the Hyundai Archery World Cup stage in Shanghai back in 2006, shooting as part of the Philippines’ compound women’s team.
Early in 2017 she finished second at the Asia Cup stage in Bangkok and, in doing so, qualified the Philippines a spot to the World Games in Wroclaw.
“I couldn’t believe it when I qualified. I was shooting badly and my scores were below average,” said Amaya. “It’s an exciting competition because you go through the whole process of qualifying, competing and, if you‘re lucky, winning. I want to make the podium, that’s always the goal for the World Games. Hopefully the training will pay off.”
The World Games, which are often compared to the Olympics for the compound bow as an international multisport event that only invites a selection of the worlds best, take place every four years.
Wroclaw will be the end of an exceptionally busy year for this Philippines team.
In addition to the two Hyundai Archery World Cup stages the squad attends each season – Shanghai and Antalya – the nation will also send a contingent to Salt Lake City as part of a preparation programme ahead of the Southeast Asian Games.
“When it’s a Southeast Asian Games year, you usually see us attending more international events than we normally do,” said Amaya, who added that she looked forward to competing in each edition of this regional tournament than any other.
Amaya has made it to the last eight of a Hyundai Archery World Cup stage twice, but both came a decade ago.
Over that time, she’s seen compound competition start with the same rules as the recurve, test alternative formats and settle, for the moment, at 50 metres.
“I miss 70 metres for compound. It was a hard adjustment moving to 50. In 2008, I got pregnant and stopped shooting, so when I came back again in 2012 it was a completely different story,” she explained.
“When you’ve been long enough around just like me, it doesn’t really matter who you shoot again – just making it work.”
Amaya won her first match in Shanghai and faces 19-year-old fifth seed Gizem Elmaagacli for a ticket into the last eight of the competition. The Philippines brought a 15-person squad to the event, one off the maximum, entering individuals and teams into each event.
The first stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup runs 16 to 21 May in Shanghai, China.