Can Sebastian Arenas help Colombia’s compound men take the leap in 2019?
It was only as recently as 2013 that Colombia began making its mark on the international archery scene.
Alejandra Usquiano won the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in 2013, and then Sara Lopez became circuit champion a further four times over five years as she broke world records and set a new standard for the category. Both were part of a team that first won the World Archery Championships in 2013 and then repeated a second time in 2017.
The majority of Colombia’s recent success can squarely be pinned on its compound women. But that might not remain true much longer.
Sebastian Arenas was in the compound men’s team that won Colombia a bronze medal at the 2017 Hyundai World Archery Championships. He recently became the joint first Colombian archer, with Sara, to shoot a perfect-900 round in Vegas – and, at just 20 years old, has the potential to breakout this season.
“The compound women’s team have a lot of experience and titles,” said Seb. “We, the compound men’s team, want to reach what they have achieved and be recognised as one of the best in the world, as well.”
Colombia hosts the first stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in 2019. Seb is joined by Daniel Munoz, Camilo Cardona and Jagdeep Teji Singh in the Colombian compound men’s squad for the upcoming season.
“The goal for us is to win a medal at the worlds to ratify the bronze we won two years ago in Mexico,” he added. “We are a great team of good archers. And we are good friends – that helps us achieve good results.”
Camaraderie is important. But like the Colombian women have their elite anchor in Lopez, so is having a star archer to lead the team.
Could Sebastian Arenas be the man for the job?
“I’ve been practising a lot. I’ve perfected my technique and changed my mindset – in the way that I’m taking things a lot more professionally,” he explained. “This sport is very orientated around the mind. So it’s key to work on it.”
Individually, Arenas has not yet made it past the third round in international competition. And he hasn’t topped 700 for a ranking round to date.
But if he and the Colombian compound men are to make the leap in 2019, they couldn’t have a better introduction to the season. Shooting at home, with the opportunity to perform in front of a sympathetic crowd, is a welcome bonus for the first event.
But there’s no free ticket to the finals arena in Medellin, even for the archers from Colombia. They’ll have to work for it, like everyone else.
Competition at the first stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Medellin, Colombia begins with qualification on Tuesday 23 April.