El Salvador’s Roberto Hernandez makes first final in 10-year career

11 September 2015
Medellin (COL)
In 10 years of international competition, El Salvador’s Roberto Hernandez has never made a gold medal match – until now.

Roberto – who has been shooting for more than ten years – nearly got the chance to made the podium back in Porec 2011, where he shot for bronze. Dane Martin Damsbo won that match by three points.

Always looking for a top placing, it was difficult for Roberto to keep his high level, but over the last two years, he said he started to feel more comfortable with his shooting and international results, especially in Medellin – a city in which people, Roberto said, “makes him feel at home”.   

“After two years of trying really hard, I finally got the results I was waiting for,” Roberto said, trying to contain his smile.

“I made two fifth places at both the 2013 and 2014 Medellin stages. This year, I came with the intention to improve – and I did it.”

Seeded fifth, Roberto’s journey to the gold medal match started with international debutant from Chile, Alejandro Martin. The match, said Roberto, was the most difficult one of the day.

“I was shooting against a good friend from Chile and at his first ever Archery World Cup, he did pretty well. I won in the last end and that helped me to be more relaxed and do well in the rest of the matches.”

Roberto then beat Alberto Blazquez from Spain, to make a quarterfinal clash against the man that beat him in that Porec ’11 bronze final, Martin Damsbo. The match was tied after 15 arrows and went to a shoot-off. Both Martin and Roberto shot 10X - but Roberto’s was closer to the centre.

In the semis, he met another Dane: reigning World Archery Champion Stephan Hansen. The match was tight, as expected, but Roberto managed to tune up the pressure and beat the newly-crowned “King of Denmark” by one point, 146-145.

His opponent at the gold medal match: Frenchman Sebastian Peineau. An opponent he’s never faced before.

“I have never shot against Sebastian. I’m very excited to see how the match will go. I hope we both can give a good show, but of course, I want to win the gold,” he said.

Roberto – accustomed to travelling alone – might not have a full team cheering on him next Saturday, but he does have a family of archers that he trusts to support him any time, any place.

“I never feel alone. I have a lot of archery friends that always treat me well and make me feel part of their team.”

Sebastian Peineau beat Demir Elmaagacli from Turkey, Federico Pagnoni from Italy and reigning Archery World Cup Final Champion Bridger Deaton during the eliminations.