Mexico makes mixed team medal matches in Salt Lake

22 June 2017
Salt Lake City (USA)
Both Mexico’s pairs semifinals were decided in shoot-offs.

Mexican mixed teams will contest both compound and recurve medal matches in Salt Lake City. It’s the first finals Mexico has made in either pair event since 2015 on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit – and an encouraging result as the nation prepares to host the 2017 World Archery Championships in October.

Linda Ochoa-Anderson and Rodolfo Gonzalez beat Italy in a semifinal shoot-off to make the compound gold final. Both squads posted 19 points with their two tiebreaker arrows, but the Mexican duo had a shaft closer to the middle of the target.

“I think we worked well as a team. When he shot well, I didn’t and when I did well, he didn’t. I think we were very confident in the shoot-off, so making the finals by winning it, is even better,“ said Linda.

Ochoa and Gonzalez will face Colombia, featuring world number one Sara Lopez, in the final.

“Linda and I shot together seven years ago in 2010 at my first World Cup,” said Rodoflo, now only 20 years of age, and then laughed as he added: “She was the sensation back then, well, she still is. This is our second time shooting the mixed team together.”

“Today we realised that we are a team. We complemented each other throughout the day, we knew how to understand the wind, made the changes at the right time. We were intelligent and had a bit of luck, which also counts sometimes, we made it.”

Alejandra Valencia and Juan Rene Serrano also went to a shoot-off in their semi against Korea.

They scored 18, while Olympic Champion Chang Hye Jin and multiple Olympic medallist Im Dong Hyun put in two near-perfect arrows, both 10s – and almost touching in the centre of the target.

“We felt very confident with what we were doing although in end we lost the shoot-off against Korea. We did what we could and we know we can do it even better,” said Valencia.

Interestingly, both Mexican archers have had fourth-place finishes at the Games.

Valencia’s was in 2016, while Juan Rene Serrano just missed out on a podium place at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.

“The inclusion of the mixed team at the Olympics is great for our sport,” said Juan Rene. The addition was announced during the previous stage in Antalya. 

“It’s something that proves that archery is one of the biggest sports at the Olympics because after having four medals to contest, we now have the chance to go for a fifth one.”

Mexico faces a host USA pair for bronze in Salt Lake, while Korea takes on Chinese Taipei for gold – the third consecutive time in three stages that Wei Chun-Heng shoots for the recurve mixed team title on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit.

(In Shanghai he won it with Tan Ya-Ting, his partner in Salt Lake, then in Antalya with newbie Peng Chia-Mao, where they took another win.)

The third stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup runs 20 to 25 June in Salt Lake City, USA.