Medellin finals preview: Compound Saturday

13 May 2016
Medellin (COL)
USA stars Crystal Gauvin and Reo Wilde take on two-time circuit champions in Sara Lopez and Sergio Pagni…

After four fantastic years in the city of the eternal spring, Medellin is saying goodbye to its Hyundai Archery World Cup stage, which will be hosted by Salt Lake City in 2017.

But before that, we’ll make some lasting memories in front of the Colombian city’s Museum of Modern Art, where the finals will be held, culminating in a showdown between local favourite and two-time circuit champion Sara Lopez and the USA’s Crystal Gauvin.

Here are our picks for the finals on compound Saturday…

COMPOUND WOMEN’S INDIVIDUAL GOLD FINAL (PM SESSION): SARA LOPEZ  / CRySTAL GAUVIN 

World number one Sara Lopez hasn’t lost a medal match since Copenhagen 2015, where she took bronze. On home soil in Medellin, she was top seed and took out World Field Champion Toja Cerne and Marcella Tonioli on her way to the finals.

Just as she – and her opponent – predicted and wanted to happen after Shanghai, Lopez will meet second seed Crystal Gauvin from the USA for gold, who shot matches of 145 and twice 147 against teammate Emily Bee, Colombian Alejandra Usquiano and Shanghai 2016 silver medallist Sarah Sonnichsen in the eliminations.

Lopez, the two-time circuit champion, is on a winning streak.

Advantage: Lopez

COMPOUND WOMEN’S INDIVIDUAL BRONZE FINAL (PM SESSION): MARCELLA TONIOLI  / SARAH SONNICHSEN 

Danish woman Sarah Sonnichsen took silver in Shanghai at the first leg of this year’s circuit. Seeded third in Medellin with 696 points behind Lopez and Gauvin, she beat Italian Laura Longo and Russia’s Albina Loginova by two and three points, each. In the semis, she lost to Gauvin by one.

Marcella Tonioli hasn’t been in an individual medal match final since 2012 in Antalya, where she won bronze.

The fourth seed in Medellin’s world cup stage first upset teammate Viviana Spano, then Mexican athlete Esmeralda Sanchez and Lily Chanu Paonam from India to meet Sara Lopez in the semis, to whom she lost by four, 142-146.

Sonnichsen is the hot hand.

Advantage: Sonnichsen

COMPOUND MEN’S INDIVIDUAL GOLD FINAL (PM SESSION): SERGIO PAGNI  / REO WILDE 

Last time Sergio “The Sultan of Smooth” Pagni appeared in an outdoor medal match was in Antalya in 2014, where he finished fourth. To make the gold final match in Medellin, he upset top-seed Alex Wifler in a second one-arrow shoot-off (the first was deemed a draw) and, then, in the quarters, teammate Michele Nencioni.

In the semis he beat Dane Martin Damsbo by four, 148-144.

Reo, one of the most successful compound men in the international series’ history, took on World Archery Champion Stephan Hansen in the fourth round and then teammate Steve Anderson in the quarters, beating both in a shoot-off – and both with arrows in the X10 ring.

He then beat Mike “Mr Perfect” Schloesser by four, 148-144.

In Medellin, Reo has never finished lower than third place. Pagni is a two-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Final winner. This is one of those matches that could go both ways…

Advantage: Push

COMPOUND MEN’S INDIVIDUAL BRONZE FINAL (PM SESSION): MARTIN DAMSBO  / MIKE SCHLOESSER 

World record holder Mike Schloesser qualified third with 709 points.

In the quarters, he beat Abhishek Verma from India by seven points and later in the semis, he lost to Reo Wilde by one point. Martin was seeded fifth and on his way to the finals; he beat Dutchman Peter Elzinga in the fourth round and India’s Gurwinder Singh in the quarters. In the semis, he lost to Sergio Pagni.

These two faced each other earlier this month in Shanghai’s quarterfinals. There, Mike won the match, and advanced to take gold.

Advantage: Mike

COMPOUND MIXED TEAM GOLD FINAL (PM SESSION): COLOMBIA  / ITALY 

Colombia, with Sara Lopez and Daniel Munoz, beat the Netherlands and France by six and nine points, each. They’ll face Italy, with Marcella Tonioli and Federico Pagnoni, who first beat India to meet the States in the semis, and beat them in a shoot-off, 17-19.

Tonioli is a two-time World Archery Champion in the mixed team event – but that was with Pagni. (Who shoots for two golds in Medellin, but didn’t make it into the Italian pair.)

Won’t be easy, but will give it to the locals with everyone cheering up loud. After all, it’s the last stage in Medellin…

Advantage: Colombia

COMPOUND WOMEN’S TEAM GOLD FINAL (AM SESSION): COLOMBIA  / USA 

In 2013 and 2014 Colombia and USA went head-to-head for the compound women’s gold in Medellin. In both editions, the States beat the locals. In 2015, but against Italy, Colombia finally won the title on home soil.

The USA was third seeded and beat Italy with an 11-point advantage to make the finals. Although statistics favour the red, white and blue, wouldn’t it be poetic for the Colombian girls to say goodbye to their stage of the World Cup tour with gold in their hands?

Advantage: Colombia

COMPOUND MEN’S TEAM GOLD final (AM SESSION): USA  / ITALY  

The top-seeded USA, featuring Alex Wifler, Braden Gellenthien and Steve Anderson, first beat Colombia in the quarters and then France in the semis, while Italy, with Sergio Pagni, Federico Pagnoni and Michele Nencioni did the same with the Netherlands and El Salvador.

It’s a rematch of last year’s gold medal match. USA won back then – and in 2014, and took silver in 2013… will it be Italy’s turn?

Advantage: Push