Lopez wins 5th World Cup stage in a row

Colombian archer Sara Lopez beat Sarah Sonnichsen, from Denmark, in the compound women’s final in Shanghai in a re-run of the previous year’s gold medal match, taking her fifth consecutive Hyundai Archery World Cup stage title, 28th match victory in a row and third win at the Asian stage of the circuit in as many years.

“I’m feeling really happy because I was feeling a lot of pressure at the beginning of the day but I handled it well,” said Lopez. “I started very relaxed in my match and I think this is the best way to start the year. The match against Sara was a rematch from last year and I think that she wanted to beat me this time.”

Lopez was cleaner from the beginning in the final.

She shot two perfect 30s over the first three ends and was three points ahead on her Danish opponent, who didn’t manage a three-10 series throughout the match.

The reigning world record holder for 15-arrow matchplay posted another 30 to close and won gold, 148-144, and the fifth Hyundai Archery World Cup stage in a row.

Lopez’s last lost international individual match came in the semifinals of the 2015 World Archery Championships, where she went on to take bronze. She leaves Shanghai with her winning streak at 28.

“I knew I could have done better,” said Sonnichsen, who won silver medals in the individual, mixed team and team competitions in Shanghai.

“I’m excited to see how many gold medal matches I’m gonna have against her this year. I’m hoping to beat her. She’s shooting amazing, she’s the one to beat and you get really nervous against her considering she’s been unbeaten for so long, but you never know what could happen.”

“I really hope I can do it, but you never know.”

The Dane also lost to Lopez in the final of this event in 2016, too.

Lopez explained earlier in the tournament week that this season was one wrought with expectation and pressure. Not only does she have a world title campaign planned and has an opportunity break the record for the longest cumulative time ranked first in the world, but she delayed finishing her medical studies to focus on archery.

“I’m 100% committed,” she said. “Winning is the way to prove to myself and my parents that this is the right choice to make. The season is going to be difficult this year and I’m going to be away for a long time.” 

“I’m going to make sure things go right.”

Belgium’s Sarah Prieels beat Dellie Threesyadinda to bronze, making the compound women’s podium a Sara(h) clean sweep.

The first stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup runs 16 to 21 May in Shanghai, China.