Former world #1 Jones returns to international competition
A former world number one, who was last ranked top three years ago, makes her grand return to international competition in Salt Lake City. Erika Jones, who took time off the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit to have a baby, is part of the USA team at stage three.
“I’m feeling really good,” said Erika. “It hardly feels like a World Cup for me since I’m pretty much at home. I mean, I had to fly to get here but being in the US, it is a familiar language, people, food and place. It feels as good as at any other tournament.”
The last time Erika shot internationally outdoors was in 2014, when she and the USA compound women’s team climbed the podium at each stage and she finished as the runner-up at the Archery World Cup Final, losing only to now-reigning world number one Sara Lopez.
“It’s really cool to be back. There are different faces on my team and in World Archery in general, but everything is still kind of the same. I don’t feel like I spent so long out of competition,” she said.
“I feel like I’m kind of new but I’m not. It’s more about getting used to [being on the team again]. I know everybody on the team because we’ve shot against each other in the US for the last few years.”
Earlier in 2017, Erika was spotted in Las Vegas at the Indoor Archery World Cup, where she finished 21st individually. Erika won the Indoor World Cup Final in 2014 and 2015.
She still owns the 18-metre qualification world record indoors, which she broke at the worlds in 2014 – right before the start of her hiatus – after the previous mark had stood for over a decade. Just three years later and Jones arrives in Salt Lake City without a world ranking at all.
“I feel like the competition level is getting deeper and deeper every year, there’s obviously a few people at the very top but there’s also people coming up that can overtake and it’s very competitive,” Erika said.
“I said in 2015, when I had my baby, that would I never shoot a World Cup again and here I am. Never say never to anything, I suppose, but let’s play it by year.”
The third stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup runs 20 to 25 June in Salt Lake City, USA.