Valentina Acosta wins Colombia’s first recurve world champion crown

Valentina Acosta beat Mexican archer Ana Paula Vazquez in straight sets to win the under-21 recurve women’s gold medal at the 2019 World Archery Youth Championships in Madrid and become Colombia’s first World Archery Champion with the recurve bow.

“I’m very excited. It’s an honour for me to represent my country and finish at the top,” said Valentina. “I feel very proud to build [Colombia’s] legacy and this time in recurve. Colombia is proving that it is not only good in compound.”

The 19-year-old entered the arena confident.

She opened the match with two perfect 10s, in the X-ring, and totalled 29 points for her first set to take an early lead. Acosta never looked back.

Vazquez never got settled. Her last three arrows were a nine, eight and a nine.

Again, Valentina shot two perfect 10s to open the set. She needed to shoot just a seven with her third to win. She loosed and the arrow landed in the nine. It won the world number 18 seed in Madrid the world title.

“This is a unique experience. When I was out there, I was thinking about my coach, and to be honest, I don’t really know where [the arrows] were landing. I have no way to explain what I did, I just know I did my job and I did it well,” she said.

Acosta is the first Colombian recurve archer to win a world championships.

The first and only other world champion from the South American country is Sara Lopez, who took the compound junior crown in Wuxi in 2013. 

“We will keep going forward with our projections with all the junior and cadet girls, who are working hard to be the best,” said Valentina.

Fourth seed Ana Paula said that having two Latin American athletes on the top of the podium, taking gold and silver, was something to take pride in.

“I feel good. I think that at a different time I would have gotten upset or something like that, but I felt my technique was good,” she said. “I felt the wind beat me a bit. I couldn’t read it properly. But even though I was nervous, I felt my technique was clean and I like that a lot.”

One the medal ceremony had finished and Valentina, Ana Paula and bronze-medal-winner Jang Minhee of Korea were standing on the podium, the three girls danced to celebrate their achievement. It was quite endearing.

Jang scored four sets of 28 points to beat Lisa Barbelin of France, 6-2, to third place.

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