Mexico City 2015: Compound women’s competition preview
The 2015 Archery World Cup Final runs on 24/25 October in Mexico City .
The eight compound women’s qualifiers for Mexico City were the eight top-ranked compound women in the world at the start of October! (Although in a different order.)
One athlete – Mexico’s Linda Ochoa – had already booked her invitation after the third World Cup stage at Wroclaw in August. The fourth and last stage in Medellin in September locked athletes into five more places, among them: Russia’s Natalia Avdeeva and defending Champion Sara Lopez of Colombia.
Stephanie Sarai Salinas became the second Mexican compound woman to take a space. This meant Mexico forfeited its host nation spot – and the top eight athletes (rather than seven) in the compound women’s division qualified.
With two spaces remaining, three competitors – Colombia’s Alejandra Usquiano, Russia’s Mariia Vinogradova and Turkey’s Yesim Bostan – all had the same number of World Cup ranking points at the close of competition at the fourth and last stage of the circuit.
According to the tiebreaker procedure, world ranking would assign the places. Both Usquiano and Vinogradova sat in the top 10 of the ranking, and took the spots, while Bostan sat in 11th.
Four of the 2014 finalists – Ochoa, Avdeeva, Lopez (winner) and Usquiano – return.
(The seed for the Archery World Cup Final is given in brackets after each athlete’s name.)
Sara Lopez (1)
Sara is the defending winner from Lausanne 2014.
Her long list of accomplishments, at just 20 years old, include that Archery World Cup Final Champion title, world records for the 15-arrow match and 72-arrow ranking round, world titles in junior and senior team competition, and a pair of individual gold medals at Archery World Cup stages: Antalya 2013 and Shanghai 2015.
At Medellin 2015, on home soil in Colombia, she added a third stage gold – with mother, father, brother and friends on site to watch.
Another haul of 25 World Cup ranking points – for winning the last stage of the year – pushed Sara to the top of the circuit leaderboard and secured her the top seed for Mexico City, where she will defend the crown she won in Lausanne in 2014.
Natalia Avdeeva (2)
It’s a second World Cup Final appearance in a row for the Russian athlete. She took bronze at Lausanne 2014.
Linda Ochoa (3)
During Linda’s most successful Archery World Cup season to date she collected individual podiums at the first and third stages: Silver in Shanghai and a bronze at Wroclaw.
The performances made her a lock for an Archery World Cup Final in her home country – for her third appearance at the series finale after Edinburgh 2010 and Lausanne 2014.
This season, Mexico’s Stephanie Salinas climbed the World Cup podium for her first time in Shanghai. Then, for the second time, in Antalya. Both were bronze medals.
In Medellin, she lost in the third round, finishing 17th – but had enough ranking points that her lowest finish of the year didn’t hurt her, becoming the second Mexican compound woman to lock down a space for the home final.
Salinas, who before 2015 had little in the way of international silverware except a cadet Pan-American title, won the Mexican Grand Prix in June, was bronze medallist at the Gwangju Summer Universiade in July and, in a grand emergence to the world-class scene, bagged a ticket for the Archery World Cup Final!
Andrea Marcos (5)
At her first Archery World Cup stage, Antalya 2015, Andrea bagged gold. Not only was it a personal victory – but the first compound gold medal for Spain in the circuit’s history.
Crystal Gauvin (6)
Number three in the world, shooting in only her second international, 31-year old Crystal has taken several team and mixed team medals but no individual World Cup podium.
She owes her ticket to the Mexico City World Cup Final to consistency: Eighth in Shanghai, ninth in Antalya, fourth in Wroclaw and 17th in Medellin.
No World Cup silverware, but Gauvin was runner-up at the Copenhagen 2015 World Archery Championships.
Mariia went from zero World Cup medals at the start of the 2015 season to four at the end: Individual silver in Antalya, team bronze at Shanghai and Antalya, and finally the team title at Wroclaw.
At just 21, the promising Russian athlete just missed the podium at the Copenhagen 2015 World Championships – losing to Sara Lopez for the bronze medal – but won the team event at the Gwangju 2015 Summer Universiade.
Before Lopez, there was Usquiano. Alejandra won the 2013 edition of the Archery World Cup in Paris, before her Colombian teammate Sara inherited the title one year later.
Usquiano’s best stage result in 2015 was silver in Wroclaw.
She was tied with two other athletes in the World Cup ranking – for two places – and it was her world ranking that secured her the Mexico City invitation.
Storyline in short
At the Paris 2013 Archery World Cup Final, Alejandra Usquiano beat Colombian teammate Sara Lopez in a first round shoot-off, and then went on to win the tournament.
Fast forward two years and Lopez has her own Archery World Cup Champion crown – won in 2014 – as well as both critical world records (50-metre qualifying and matchplay), but the head-to-head between the pair still sits at 2-1 in Usquiano’s favour.
The eighth seed, Alejandra Usquiano faces top qualifier Sara Lopez in the first round in Mexico City: Will there be an upset or will the seeds follow the script?
the final: Lopez / Gauvin ?
Assuming Sara Lopez does make it past her first match, she’s undeniably the favourite to take gold – and defend her World Cup Champion title – in Mexico City.
She would be only the third person to repeat the feat in consecutive years in the circuit’s history, if she managed it, after Sergio Pagni, from Italy, in ’09 and ’10 and USA recurve archer Brady Ellison in ’10, ’11. The pick with the best chance of challenging medical student Lopez in an eventual final would be a choice between another States athlete, Crystal Gauvin, and Natalia Avdeeva.
Gauvin had silver at the worlds in 2015, proof she’s no slouch on the big stage – and, even from the sixth seed, she’s got the tools to go at least as far in Mexico.
See someone else winning? Let us know on Twitter, @worldarchery is the handle.