Youth worlds make for a more relaxed atmosphere says Andrea Becerra

Andrea Becerra is one of the 24 Mexican athletes competing at the 2019 World Archery Youth Championships in Madrid, Spain. She is one of the most experienced on the squad, with over two years of experience on her nation’s senior team.

“I’m very excited, we have a very good team and we are all feeling motivated to be here,” she said. “It feels very different but for the good. The atmosphere here is more relaxed, everyone is happy, they are all friends, and I think it will help me to get rid of some of the pressure that I felt in Lima.”

The 19-year-old has already won the Universiade and taken silver at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games this summer. But, like many of the archers with more experience that are shooting in Madrid, the youth world championships seem to be special.

Perhaps it’s because there’s a hard deadline – of age – and a definite number of the championships at which people can compete.

“These worlds also have a bigger importance because it cost us a lot to be here, to the whole Mexican team, so being able to compete means everything to us,” she said.

It was uncertain if Mexico would travel to Madrid due to lack of funding.

Thanks to state support, the power of social media in raising sponsorship and investment from the athletes and their families, the full team was able to make the trip.

Madrid is an opportunity this Mexican squad is keen not to waste.

“There are good competitors here, many of the other girls competing here you can also see them with their senior teams, so it’s cool to see them here and share with them in a more relaxed environment,” said Becerra.

“I think I always feel the responsibility of giving an example, but all compound kids that are here from Mexico are good, we are all friends, we are a great team and I have shared a lot with them, so it also helps me stay calm and not worry.”

Andrea came fourth in the compound cadet women’s event at the previous World Archery Youth Championships in Rosario in 2017 – and collected gold in the team competition.

She returns, in Madrid, a junior. (Cadets must be under 18 years of age.) She’s a better archer – and, at her last major tournament of the season, pretty chilled out.

“I’m a different archer now. In Rosario, I was scared and the wind was very challenging. I was new to everything,” said Andrea. “I now feel a lot more secure in myself. I feel I’m in a position where I can enjoy shooting and competing.”

“I think I will enjoy this competition a lot more.”

Becerra qualified eighth in Madrid after shooting 688 out of a possible 720 points for the 72-arrow 50-metre round. She faces Elisa Roner of Italy in her first match of the tournament on Thursday.

The 2019 World Archery Youth Championships takes place on 19-25 August in Madrid, Spain.