Alvarado wins Puerto Rico’s 1st world champion title

8 October 2017
Rosario (ARG)
Puerto Rico had never won a world archery gold medal before.

Puerto Rico’s Bryan Alvarado beat the USA’s Ethan Merrill to the compound cadet men’s gold medal in a one-arrow shoot-off at the 2017 World Archery Youth Championships in Rosario, Argentina.

His gold medal is Puerto Rico’s first ever world championship victory in archery.

“I’m feeling really happy with this result. It’s been a good week and I’m glad it all went my way,” said Bryan, whose journey to Rosario – along with the rest of the Puerto Rican team – wasn’t easy.

The country was heavily affected by hurricane Irma, one of the strongest recorded storms in history, just one week prior to the championships. It resulted in tragic loss of life, significant damage to infrastructure and nearly stopped the young archers from travelling to Argentina.

“Our archery field got destroyed, so we had to find other options to keep training.”

Bryan made space in and around his house to set-up a practice target.

“People were walking near me while I was shooting, but everyone helped and understood why I was doing it,” said Bryan.

The 16-year-old scored 702 out of a possible 720 points over the 72-arrow 50-metre round, three more than opponent Merrill. Bryan beat Dirk de Bod, Roman Efimov, Robin Jaatma and Edgar Diaz to secure his ticket to the gold medal match.

Both Bryan and Ethan opened the final with a 26. Then, Ethan went two points up in the second end, 54-52, before increasing the difference to four, 84-80, in the third. Ethan landed two eights and a 10 in the fourth; Bryan: two 10s and a nine, leaving the match 110-109 in the States archer’s favour.

Merrill had a chance to win the match with his last arrow, but shot a nine – rather than the 10 he needed – sending it to a shoot-off.

Bryan, shooting first, landed a 10. Ethan, a 10, too – but Bryan’s was closer to the middle.

“It was relieving,” expressed Bryan, who started archery five years ago. “I shot good shots and felt good during the entire match. We went into a shoot-off and I shot 10 but I had to wait for him because he could have shot a 10X; he didn’t and so I won.”

Bryan Alvardo: Puerto Rico’s first World Archery Youth Champion, first World Archery Champion of any kind – and only 16 years of age.

“As many other might, I want to be – at some point in my career – world number one,” said Bryan. “I’m working hard for that dream as, although I know it won’t be easy, it’s possible.”

The 2017 World Archery Youth Championships run 2 to 10 October in Rosario, Argentina.