Reigning Pan Am Champion Valencia leads qualification in Monterrey

Alejandra Valencia shoots during the Pan American Championships in 2021.

Brazilian archer Marcus D’Almeida and Alejandra Valencia, shooting for the host country, Mexico, took the top seeds in the recurve events after qualification at the 2021 Pan American Championships in Monterrey.

“This is the first competition after a year in lockdown, and my training has been so-so, not at my 100%, so I take this as a good start,” said Valencia, who finished fourth at the last Olympic Games in 2016 and is the reigning Pan American Champion. 

“The wind was very difficult, having to be aware of each change of direction, so I feel it wasn’t a bad round. I identified some issues and I did some things very well, so it’s a good base from which to progress.”

Valencia's score of 654 was five ahead of her nearest competitor over the 72-arrow, 70-metre ranking round in the recurve women‘s event: Colombia’s Valentina Contreras on 649.

Brazilian Olympian Ane Marcelle Dos Santos scored 639, good for third, while Mexican rising star Valentina Vazquez slotted in fourth, one point down on Ane.

D’Almeida led the recurve men with 666 points, followed by Chile’s Andres Aguilar on 658 and Santiago Arcila of Colombia on 657.

“The goal here is for the women to gain the Olympic quota place,” said Marcus, throwing his support behind his third-seeded teammate Dos Santos. “And for us to get gold, hopefully in both individual and team events.”

There are two separate competitions running concurrently in Monterrey.

As well as the main championships, many recurve archers are also competing in the continental qualification tournament for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The qualification results seeded archers for both events.

Chile’s Aguilar and Dos Santos of Brazil took top seeds in the qualifier, in which only archers from eligible countries participate.

There are three quota places available in each gender to countries that do not already have a spot in that gender secured from one of the two previous qualifying events for archers from the Americas.

Those places are likely to be decided on Saturday.

Top seeds in the recurve para archery competitions went to Mexico’s Samuel Molina, who scored 622 points, and Brazil's Fabiola Dergovics, whose 594 was top of the recurve women’s open field by more than 50 points.

Competition continues in Monterrey on Wednesday, when continental champions will be crowned in the mixed team events.