Records tumble during qualifications at Lima 2019 Pan American Games

7 August 2019
Lima, Peru
These Pan Am Games will award up to four places to next summer’s Olympics in Tokyo.

Brady Ellison, Alejandra Valencia, Braden Gellenthien and Sara Lopez topped the ranking rounds at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games held on the archery field in the Villa Maria del Triunfo Sports Complex in the Peruvian capital.

Ellison’s new world record of 702 points was the biggest story of the day.

Valencia’s 675-point 72-arrow 70-metre round was also a new Pan American Games and continental record for the recurve women’s category.

“Am I happy? Yes and no. Yes, because it’s still a first place and I fought hard to get it but no because I made some mistakes that I didn’t like. Those mistakes, though, made me focus even more to stay in the lead and finish decently,” she said.

The 24-year-old Mexican archer shot halves of 340 and 335 points.

Her 675 total led second seed Casey Kaufhold of the USA by 13 and was 22 up on teammate and Olympic silver medallist Aida Roman, who had 653.

After securing an individual spot to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games during the world championships and with no women’s quota place on the line in Lima, getting results in the team events at these Pan American Games is just as important as individual success for Alejandra.

“We want to win the mixed team to secure a men’s place for Tokyo 2020,” she said. “I also want to have a good team competition in terms of feelings and scores.”

World number one Braden Gellenthien shot two 36-arrow series of 356 points and led compound men’s qualification from beginning to end, finishing with 712.

“I’m starting to feel more like my usual self and my shooting scores reflect that,” said Braden.

At the halfway point, Roberto Hernandez of El Salvador was only one point behind. Shooting on Braden’s target, Hernandez just couldn’t keep pace and fell behind over the back straight to finish on 708, four behind the leader. Mexico’s Rodolfo Gonzalez jumped into second with 710.

“Going into today, [Roberto] was my pick to win qualification. He’s been shooting well, his technique is always really solid and being in South America, I expected him to bring everything that he had and he did,” said a complimentary Braden.

Five of the 10 compound men in the competition shot more than 700 points for the 72-arrow 50-metre ranking round. Daniel Munoz of Colombia and Ivan Nikolajuk of Argentina were the fourth and fifth over the world-class mark.

Gellenthien said he was impressed with the quality and level of the scores.

“I think there’s something about the Pan Americans, where athletes are selected to be the only representative of their country where they put the flag of their country in the back and really do the best that they can,” he said.

This is the first time the compound bow has been included in the sports programme of the Pan American Games.

World number two Sara Lopez took a commanding top seed as the only compound woman to break 700 in Lima. She was six points ahead of the rest of the field at halfway and only extended her lead as qualification progressed.

Lopez finished with 708 points, nine up on Venezuela’s Ana Mendoza. Universiade winner Andrea Becerra was third with 697.

“I’m very happy because, despite the weather, which is cold, I managed to shoot my arrows well,” said Sara. “My first half was 357 and it’s been a while since the last time I shot that high. I started with four 60s in a row and that leaves me with lots of confidence ahead of tomorrow.”

Several other records fell during qualification.

Brady Ellison, Thomas Stanwood and Jack Williams combined 2057 points was a new Pan American Games and continental record for recurve men’s qualification, as was Ellison and Casey Kaufhold’s total of 1364 for the mixed team ranking round.

The Mexican recurve women increased their own Pan American Games team qualifying record by 10, now up to 1971 points.

The archery competitions at the 2019 Pan American Games take place on 6-11 August in Lima, Peru.