Mexican women to close tough 2019 season with gold medal match at Pan Am Games
Alejandra Valencia, Mariana Avitia and Aida Roman of Mexico shot a combined score of 1971 out of a possible 2160 points for the 72-arrow 70-metre ranking round to lead recurve women’s team qualification at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games on Wednesday morning.
They then beat Bolivia and Brazil in straight sets in the quarterfinals and semifinals to make the gold medal match. It seemed a relief.
“I think we had to work for it and we want to win this,” said Alejandra. “This year, we have trained a lot as a team and although the results haven’t been the ones we expected, we know we are good and we can achieve things.”
“We can’t win every competition but we always gain something and that’s the experience that we’ll use in the final here.”
Mexico’s goal in 2019 was to qualify an Olympic team quota for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Hyundai World Archery Championships, which was held in the Netherlands in June.
But they failed to do so. The Mexican team lost to Germany, 6-2, in the second round – the match that would decide the Olympic quota. Alejandra did manage to win an individual spot in the secondary qualification tournament.
Lima was a chance to make the wrongs right and look towards the future. This trio of Mexican friends has Olympic experience – Aida was silver medallist and Mariana the third-place finisher at London 2012 – and one more chance to qualify. (Berlin, next year, will award three more team spaces.)
“Shooting a team is like… protection. The dynamic is different and we enjoy it a lot,” said Mariana.
“Individually is just being focused on what you have to do. As a team, you also have the compromise of shooting your arrows good because although the team supports you, you don’t want to affect the team.”
Roman and Avitia lost their individual quarterfinal matches in Lima. That leaves Alejandra as Mexico’s sole hope in the recurve women’s event at Lima 2019.
Aiming for a good – and much deserved – win, she and this Mexican trio are well prepared to accept the past. And move on to the future.
“I think we have to turn the page, we will work on the mistakes we made and improve everything so during the team finals we can give our 100%,” said Mariana.
Mexico’s recurve women’s team gold medal match against the USA takes place on Sunday morning at these Pan American Games in Lima. Alejandra then shoots against Colombia’s Ana Maria Rendon in their individual semifinal in the afternoon.
The archery competitions at the 2019 Pan American Games take place on 6-11 August in Lima, Peru.