FIERRO collects triple gold as Mexico, Colombia dominate Veracruz finals
Photo credit to Archery 10 10 10 Magazine
All but one final at the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games was contested between Colombia and Mexico. The lone archer to make a gold medal match from the other 10 nations competing was El Salvador’s Roberto HERNANDEZ.
He lost the compound men’s final to Julio FIERRO. It was the third of three gold medals Mexico’s FIERRO would collect in Veracruz, after winning the mixed team title with Linda OCHOA and the top team spot with Rodolfo GONZALEZ and Mario CARDOSO.
Recurver Luis ALVAREZ was close to equaling his teammate FIERRO’s medal tally. The reigning world student champion won the individual gold after a 7-1 win over Colombian junior Daniel BETANCUR and was in Mexico’s gold-medal winning recurve men’s team – who beat Colombia in the final.
The Mexican men only qualified in fifth, but beat top-ranked Cuba on the way to the final. Cuba collected both recurve team bronze medals, but couldn’t secure individual bronze. Cuban veteran Juan Carlos STEVENS lost that match to Veneuela’s Richard VASQUEZ.
ALVAREZ lost out on his third gold in a shoot-off for the mixed team title.
Ana MARIA RENDON was shooting first in Colombia’s mixed team – but swapped to second for the tiebreaker. It proved decisive: she shot a 10 and Mexico had no room to recover after Alejandra VALENCIA scored just seven.
RENDON’s campaign started well when she shot a Games Record of 1356 for the 1440 ranking round early in the six-day event. It finished just as well when she beat recurve women’s Archery World Cup Champion Aida ROMAN to gold in another tiebreaker.
The pair was tied at five set points a piece after five regulation sets. She shot her one-arrow decider first: it landed in the nine. Mexico’s ROMAN, shooting second, also shot a nine – but the Olympic silver medallist’s shaft was further away from the centre and RENDON took the win in front of packed baseball stadium stands.
Former world bronze medallist Natalia SANCHEZ was third.
Aida’s recurve women’s trio got some revenge by beating Colombia in their final and claimed Mexico’s third team gold medal.
A second-half collapse in the compound women’s team final denied a Colombian squad that dominated the Rosario 2014 Pan-American Archery Championships a single team title at Veracruz.
At halfway, Colombia had a five-point advantage over Venezuela. But the Venezuelans, the same team that won bronze at the Torino 2011 World Archery Championships, shot 119 out of 120 points for their back 12 arrows and sneaked a 231 total, a single point ahead of the Colombian trio that won that last World Archery Championships in Belek, Antalya.
Nearly 100 athletes competed in the archery events at Veracruz 2014. Mexico and Colombia dominated podiums and, coupled with the promising performances from Venezuelan, El Salvadorian and Cuban athletes, this bodes well for Central America’s chances at the Toronto 2015 Pan-Am Games next year.
The next Central American and Caribbean Games will be held in the Colombian city of Barranquilla in four years’ time.