Lopez among qualifiers for World Cup Final after Medellin eliminations

Sara Lopez at the compound eliminations in Medellin, 2022

Sara Lopez was top of the big names to secure a place at the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Mexico after the compound eliminations session at stage four of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Medellin, Colombia on Thursday afternoon.

“My family is going to see me so I’m very happy,” said Lopez, who is into her first final four of the season on home soil and will face Ella Gibson in a thrilling opening compound women’s semifinal on Saturday. “To be able to give my family the live show they haven’t seen in the last three years is the biggest reward for me. Being there is a prize for me. I am very satisfied.”

Gibson beat Lopez in the final of the World Games earlier this month and subsequently knocked her out of the number one spot in the Sanlida World Archery Rankings. The rivalry brewing is real.

It’ll be tough match to follow for Mexico’s Dafne Quintero and Andrea Becerra, who complete the compound women’s bracket in the arena. Their teammate Miguel Becerra also remains in the hunt for the compound men’s win, alongside Jimmy LutzMike Schloesser and Jean Philippe Boulch.

Becerra and Lutz need to win this weekend in Medellin to book a ticket to the circuit finale.

If Schloesser or Boulch take gold, reigning World Archery Champion Nico Wiener will qualify for the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final on points.

Lopez’s first finals run of the season secured her invitation to the eighth Hyundai Archery World Cup Final of her career – but she can convert that points ticket into a stage winner spot, should she take a fourth straight win at her home stage of the tour. Her Colombian teammate Alejandra Usquiano, who was knocked out by Becerra in a quarterfinal tiebreak, also booked a points slot for Tlaxcala, as did Quintero, Tanja Gellenthien and Estonia’s Lisell Jaatma.

“I’m over the moon right now,” said Jaatma, who didn’t travel to Medellin but was paying close attention to the results. “I was just watching the scores and feeling a little bit anxious. I wasn’t sure if I would be safe. It’s definitely weird being at home while others are competing, I would love to be in Medellin right now. I’m very happy, words can’t describe it.”

Jean Philippe Boulch at Medellin 2022

World number one Ella Gibson had already qualified for Tlaxcala thanks to two previous stage wins. She revealed that even with her current level of shooting, she still sometimes needs an extra push to perform.

“It was really tough today,” she said. “I had a lot of expectation on it, considering my world ranking at the beginning of this week and my qualification. I spoke to my coach before I came out and they gave me a little pep talk. I started a little bit rough in my first match but started to find my footing and find my flow.”

Ella opened with 142 in her first match – before finding her groove with a 147 and 142.

The compound women’s picture for the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final is largely decided. The only slight question mark remains Andrea Becerra. Should she win in Medellin, she will go to the final, but should she not, that place will go to an archer from the host nation. She’s from the host nation and, as the next-highest-ranked compound woman from Mexico, it would be a surprise if she were not picked anyway.

Jean Philippe BoulchJean Pizarro and Braden Gellenthien cemented Tlaxcala spots during the session, following Mathias Fullerton after he was confirmed due to his qualifying bonus points in Medellin, although Gellenthien had a short sweat.

Eliminated before the last eight, he needed Kim Jongho to finish lower than second. He watched avidly down his scope as Boulch eliminated the Korean archer in the quarterfinals.

“It’s always nerve-wracking when your fate rests in the hands of other actors,” he said. “But I’m excited. I can’t wait to go to Mexico for the final and we’ll see if we can’t take home the gold medal.”

Competition continues in Medellin with compound and recurve mixed team eliminations on Friday morning.

Final fours: Medellin 2022

The compound medal matches are scheduled for Saturday 23 July. The archers are listed in semifinal pairs and their seed is given in brackets.

Compound men

Compound women