Goal next year is to win an Olympic medal, says Marcus D’Almeida

Marcus D’Almeida became the youngest athlete in history to qualify for the Archery World Cup Final in 2014, at the age of 16. Not only did he qualify, he walked away with silver, to pair with the second place he took at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing that same year.

It won him fame in Brazil, and pinned him as one of the Rio 2016 host nation’s best medal hopes in the archery events.

At the Aquece Rio International Archery Challenge, the test event for the Olympics in Brazil, Marcus finished ninth. He won two matches but came up short in the third round against India’s Jayanta Talukdar.

D’Almeida lost the first set 29-27, draw with Talukdar in the second, then was a point behind his opponent each of the back two (27-26) and lost the match, 7-1.

“It was a good match but it was windy. I shoot with just 45 lbs draw weight so I had to watch the wind before each shot,” he said.

“It was a nice feeling to be supported by family and friends. It’s a feeling of trust and strength. With them around, things are much easier for me.”

Marcus said that he felt shooting in the Olympic venue was a good experience that would translate into a great deal of learning both personally and as a professional athlete.

“The competition level was high. I need to train more and more if I want to make the finals next year,” he added.

The Carioca, a Rio de Janeiro native, next competes at Brazil’s national championships. He said he’d then begin preparations for the 2016 season, sacrificing about six hours each day to training.

“I need to be more focused, more concentrated while I train, to improve myself. I need more physical strength, too. I shoot 45 lbs, and I should be shooting 50 lbs or more,” Marcus said.

“Next year my goal is to win an Olympic medal. No matter if it’s gold, silver or bronze, but I want to make the finals,” he said, determined. “There’s a lot of preparation ahead, though.”

At the Aquece Rio event, 27th seed Marcus beat Galsan Bazarzhapov and upset number-six ranked Xing Yu, from China, before losing to Talukdar. All opponents in the past, as this Brazilian athlete has his sights very firmly set on the task at hand.

“I cannot imagine myself, right now, shooting against someone specific,” Marcus said. “I just know that whoever it is, I will do the best I can.”

“Next year, I think and hope, that things will be even better than this time.”