Top 5: Best photos from the 2021 Pan Am Championships in Monterrey

Branding at the Pan American Championships in 2021.

My name is Mariano, and I work for the Mexican Olympic Committee, covering a variety of sports. I was in Monterrey last week capturing photos for the organiser of the 2021 Pan American Championships.

This was not my first archery event, but it was my biggest to date – both in terms of the importance, with the continental titles and places available for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the distance between fields! There were three venues in use for the majority of these championships, each more than a kilometre apart.

It was a challenge to capture as much of the competition as possible, but the fantastic diversity of backgrounds, athletes – able-bodied and para and all kinds of bowstyles – and emotions made it very enjoyable.

Here are my five favourite pictures I shot last week.

A para archer in shadow during the Pan American Championships in 2021.

1) Shadow shooter

I like to play with light and composition, and capturing the arrow in flight is always a good idea. This picture incorporates all three of those elements.

Sport is all about teamwork, too. The coaches and support staff play a huge role in allowing para archers to perform at their best on the field of play. You see it all in this photo – the perfect release, the athlete performing the shot and the team supporting behind them.

And because it’s all in shadow, it could be anybody.

A target reflects in an archer’s glasses during the Pan American Championships in 2021.

2) Reflection

The five colours and shape of the target are the most recognisable symbol in archery. Finding alternative perspectives to view something so integral to the sport is not easy.

Looking through an archer’s glasses makes you wonder how they view their own performance.

Arrows in targets against a mountain backdrop during the Pan American Championships in 2021.

3) Mountains in Monterrey

Monterrey is famous for its mountainous landscape. The Sierra Madre Oriental range, which is in the background of this image, is iconic.

You wouldn’t normally be able to see it so clearly from this angle, but because archers were shooting one to a target in Monterrey as part of the sport’s health restrictions to combat COVID-19 – adding social distancing to all phases of competition – you can look right through the loose arrow clusters.

A para archer on the line during the Pan American Championships in 2021.

4) Practice

This photo was taken during a practice session on the American football field in Monterrey. This venue hosted the para archery and barebow events for the majority of the tournament.

I just like the composition of the picture.

Luis Alvarez shoots during finals at the Pan American Championships in 2021.

5) Determination

As a Mexican – and a Mexican working in sport – it was an honour to watch Luis Alvarez win an Olympic quota place for Tokyo 2020 through my camera lens. Seeing how much it meant to him afterward was emotional.

Alvarez got there through pure determination in challenging conditions. This photo, I believe, captures that determination at the moment of release.

I hope you enjoyed my pictures from the event. Check out the full albums in the Monterrey 2021 Pan American Archery Championships section of the World Archery website.

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