Hernandez reveals Olympic hope before retirement

El Salvador's Hernandez in action on the 2021 World Cup tour

El Salvador’s Robert Hernandez is hoping to continue his career until he shoots an Olympic arrow.

The compound world number 39 has just completed a mini-tour of events with compatriot Sofia Paiz

“It’s one of the biggest dreams of every archer,” said the 33-year-old Hernandez about the potential to compete in an Olympic Games.

“It’s one of the things that you always dream [of] and if there's also a possibility of it to come true, it is motivating a lot.”

At the end of June, World Archery revealed it had officially proposed compound for inclusion alongside the current recurve events on the sports programme of the LA28 Olympic Games.

The proposal is for an additional indoor archery competition for men, women and mixed teams that would last approximately three days. It would see athletes competing over 18 metres and indoors, in comparison to the 70-metre outdoor recurve format.

And last month, the North American country had a taste of compound at a global multisport event with the bowstyle part of the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama.

“It’s one of the things that you want to do before you retire from shooting,” added Hernandez, who shot in Alabama.

"If they open one more medal that you can make, it’s definitely one of the medals that you want to get.”

Roberto Hernandez speaking to local radio

A possible Olympic inclusion would also ensure a more solid foundation for individual compounders to build their careers on.

“We have always been fighting with funding; if you're not an Olympic sport you always get less funding," adds Hernandez. "Possible inclusion is a motivation to get more support.”

"In my country, an athlete with my results will for sure receive Olympic sponsorship from the Olympic Committee. The scholarship that gives you money for competition, for equipment, for special camps."

“All this funding I was never allowed to get. If compound archery entered to the Olympic programme I can apply and would definitely be one of the people that are on the list to receive that support from the Olympic Committee."

After a career which started in 2002, followed by an international debut a few years later, in 2006, Hernandez has gone onto appearing in 36 Hyundai Archery World Cup stages, winning one silver and four bronzes amongst many other successes.

But the temptation of appearing in the world’s great sporting event maybe too great for him.

"I always aimed at [retiring] about that time because I'm also coaching and shooting,” said Hernandez.

"I always think; well, when will be my retirement? But if there's some competition that you receive support [for], you will always think; 'okay, I can try.'"

"If you're shooting at a good level, you always postpone that day (to retire). I hope that I can postpone my retirement date until the day after I have finished shooting in the Olympics."

“I will still be shooting at a good level at that time. So I hope that really happens for us."

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