Jean Pizarro the first Puerto Rican to seed top eight at an international tournament
Jean Pizarro of Puerto Rico turned heads at the world championships in ’s-Hertogenbosch by qualifying in fourth place, just behind the more familiar names of Braden Gellenthien, Mike Schloesser and Kim Jongho.
Compound men’s qualification took place in a session of subtle winds and tricky light. The Puerto Rican team has taken time to adjust to Dutch conditions.
“We’ve been here in the Netherlands since 27 May, We came directly from Antalya to here. Our goal was to move to have better results from the first two World Cups,” said Jean.
Pizarro scored 694 points for the ranking round in Medellin and 698 in Antalya. And in the Netherlands, he shot 708.
“I felt really calm in the first 36 arrows. In the second 36 arrows the panic started to hit me, I was feeling so calm and the dot was so still, that I started to anticipate the shots,” he said.
“In the fourth end of the second half, I said: ‘hey, how hard can this be to pull through to the end?’ So I calmed down again, shot two 60s, had a decent finish with a 59 and managed to do a 708.”
It’s the first time a senior archer from Puerto Rico has been seeded within the top eight at a major tournament, despite some strong youth results in the past – notably including Pizarro’s junior world championship silver in 2009 and Bryan Alvarado’s cadet victory in 2017.
“Over the next few days, I would like to maintain the pace, maintain the calm that I that we witnessed today, and have a strong shot in the elimination rounds and be happy with a result improving on Antalya, when I shot against Daniel Munoz – one of my training partners,“ said Jean.
Pizarro has had a long association with the Colombian team and Colombia’s coach Heber Mantilla, which continues to this day.
“We’ve worked on a lot of things. We are not trying to jump higher than we're supposed to be doing, so we’ll just go step by step arrow by arrow, and I think we can get there,” he said.
Pizarro gave much credit to a compound men’s field that saw an incredible 42 archers top 700 points for the 72-arrow 50-metre ranking round.
“Everybody here is an elite archer, from the first place to the last place,” he said.
“You have to see this as one more competition – don’t pressure yourself because it’s a world championships and just compete against yourself, against your average, and stay as calm as possible.”
“The person that manages to stay the calmest is the one that is going to be on top of the podium.”
The 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships take place on 10-16 June in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.