Sara Lopez secures spot in Lockdown Knockout semis with incredible comeback win

World number two Sara Lopez shot a perfect 30 points to erase a two-point deficit in the final end of her Lockdown Knockout quarterfinal against Toja Ellison and force a shoot-off. She rode the momentum, nailing a 10 in the single-arrow shoot-off.

Ellison pushed her tiebreak arrow to the right, slightly wide and in the nine. It handed Lopez the victory.

“We had a lot of fun putting this together and I’m really happy. I was really stressed about the weather but everything worked perfectly so I’m really happy and proud,” said Sara. “Thanks to Toja for making this fun, too.”

Colombia’s Lopez will face Paige Pearce, of the USA, in the semifinals of World Archery’s first remote international tournament on Friday.

The five-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion showcased her indomitable mental resilience against Toja.

Sara trailed by a point from early on. By the start of the fifth end, Toja’s lead had expanded to two.

Knowing she needed nothing less than a perfect score to put pressure on her Slovenian opponent, Lopez quickly drilled three excellent 10s. Toja put two of her arrows in the nine.

It levelled the match at 143 points.

Toja shot at the bottom left face of the triangular triple-spot in use during this tournament. She had shot four of five 10s on it during the regulation 15 arrows.

This sixth shot landed in the nine, by barely a millimetre.

Lopez, buoyed by her last-chance comeback to secure the tiebreak, delivered once again. She landed a clear 10 in the top face.

The typically emotional 25-year-old was clearly pleased with the win.

Each woman praised the other during the post-match interviews, saying they’d been in touch and had been offering support to each other during the current health situation and international hiatus.

“Congratulations to Sara, I wouldn’t expect anything less of her than a 30 to finish. The nerves just got the best of me in the last end but I had fun,” said Toja.

“For me, it’s been fun to shoot a tournament. I’m sad it’s over because I just wanted to continue competing and shooting and having fun with my friends, but I wish good luck to everybody.”

Lockdown Knockout competition resumes on Thursday 14 May, when Anders Faugstad takes on Mike Schloesser in the men’s semifinal.

Lopez and Pearce will then shoot on Friday.

The winners of those matches will advance to a final on Sunday 17 May, where the winner will receive 1000 CHF and runner-up 500 CHF in prize money.

Lopez has posted on Instagram that she would donate her prize to charity if she won it.

The Lockdown Knockout is the first remote international event being streamed live across World Archery’s digital platforms.