10 takeaways: Medellin 2015 qualification

9 September 2015
Medellin (COL)
Ten quick notes from the qualifying at the fourth and final stage of the 2015 Archery World Cup circuit in Medellin, Colombia.

Medellin 2015, the fourth and last leg on the Archery World Cup circuit in 2015, got underway when all recurve and compound athletes shot their ranking round at the same time on the competition’s baseball-turned-archery field.

It was the first step in a tournament that will decide who shoots in Mexico City to close the season. Here’s 10 quick takeaways from qualification in Medellin…

1. The defending Archery World Cup Champion in the compound women’s competition, Sara Lopez, got off to a good start on home soil. She was the only archer in the division to break 700 points for qualifying – with 701 – and claimed the top seed for the World Cup stage.

Sara, who recently put the world record for the 72-arrow ranking round up to 713, said she struggled early because she was focusing on showing other people her normal scores.

“I have to work on just showing myself,” she said. “Over the second half I relaxed, I thought about my family and my cat.”

She dropped five less points over the back 36 arrows to jump into the lead after being second at halfway. Paired with Camilo Cardona, Sara had a second seed in the mixed team, as well - just two points behind the USA.

2. Sara wasn’t the only Colombian woman to start strong. Natalia Sanchez and Ana Maria Rendon landed 10th and 11th, respectively, after recurve women’s qualification.

“There is something special about shooting and competing at home,” said Natalia. “The competition can be anywhere and I will love competing, but being at home is nice. The competition is organised very well with a friendly environment.”

3. The famous Im Dong Hyun, who set the world record for the 70-metre ranking round at London 2012, made a return to the international competition field in Medellin as part of the alternate Korean squad. Dong Hyun last shot for Korea at the worlds in Belek in 2013 and while being back made him nervous, as the oldest on the team he would pass on his experience to the younger archers.

Im put on a show for his team members and was in mid-season form: 688 out of 720 and the recurve men’s top seed, six points ahead of teammate and Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games winner Lee Woo Seok.

4. After medalling at the World Archery Championships in 2005 – when the Korean athlete was just 15 – Lee Tuk Young disappeared from the international archery scene until 2014, when she shot in Medellin and Antalya. (Nine years away!)

At her first event in 2015, she won a tight fight with Chinese Taipei’s Tan Ya-Ting for the top recurve women’s seed.

5. “I was here last year. It was my first time in Medellin and I did not do very well,” said Collin Klimitchek. “Hopefully, I can have some redemption this time.”

Collin ranked fifth with 675 points – the highest of any USA or Americas athlete, behind the two leading Koreans, Australia’s Taylor Worth and Rick van der Ven of the Netherlands.

“Conditions in the first part were easy but we had a little more wind in the second half and my scores started to drop a little bit,” he explained.

6. Argentina’s Maria Eugenia Gonzalez only experience at international events was Medellin in 2014, where she finished 17th. The 38-year-old athlete qualified in 12th, one year later.

“My round was very good in general, though my scores were a little lower than my normal average. But I got what I was looking for,” she said. “It’s a little warmer than last year but very pretty with little wind.”

7. The draw that puts athletes on their qualification targets is entirely random – but every now and again it throws up some gems. Target 27 featured young guns Sjef van den Berg, Marcus D’AlmeidaLee Woo Seok and Wei Chun-Heng during the Medellin 2015 ranking round.

D’Almeida and Lee took silver and gold, respectively, at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, while Sjef was second at the first European Games. Twenty-one year old Wei Chun-Heng, who was mixed team and team silver medallist at the 2015 Universiade, was the oldest of the bunch.

All four won top-eight byes into the third round of the Medellin 2015 recurve men’s competition: Sjef took the eighth seed after a three-way shoot-off, Marcus had seventh, Woo Seok was second and Chun-Heng came in sixth.

8. Mister Perfect had two silver medals to start his Archery World Cup season and was one of the first three athletes to be locked into an invitation for Mexico City 2015. Not content with just qualifying, the Dutchman started Medellin with a top seeding over veteran Reo Wilde, by a point.

Wilde had 707 for the 72-arrow round – but Mike Schloesser had 708.

Wilde’s States teammate Steve Anderson, who was also in a strong Archery world Cup ranking position arriving in Colombia, was third over qualifying with 705.

9. The fifth compound men’s seed went to El Salvador’s Roberto Hernandez. Who said he felt extremely comfortable competing in Medellin.

“I arrived one week earlier to practice with the Colombian national team. We are really close friends so this is why I feel at home,” he said. “I have always done very well in Medellin.”

Previously, El Salvador has sent a full squad to Medellin – but in 2015, only Roberto was entered.

“It wasn’t an option this year so I paid since I had to take advantage of the competition taking place here because it’s so close to my country,” he explained. El Salvador is approximately three hours from Colombia by plane.

10. Korea and the USA had good starts and all the top seeds in the team events: Korea the top ranking in the recurve men’s, women’s and mixed team competitions – and the USA in all three compound events.