Paige Pearce tops Guatemala ranking with national-record 707

Paige Pearce shoots during qualification  at the first stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Guatemala City.

World number four Paige Pearce of the USA placed first over compound women’s qualification on Tuesday at the first stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Guatemala City. She scored 707 out of a possible 720 points over the 72-arrow 50-metre ranking round to take the top spot by three points after a long tussle.

“Starting the day, I really wouldn’t have thought that I would have shot a 707,” Pearce said. "My first half felt a little bit rough, and then I don’t know what happened, we finished and then that second half it just really all just clicked and came together, and it felt right.”

The score is a new national record in the USA.

Colombia’s Alejandra Usquiano – positioned in first after 36 arrows with 355 points to Pearce's 351 – earned the second seed with 704, while world number one Alexis Ruiz joined teammate Pearce to round out the top three on 702.

It was Pearce’s back four ends, during which she dropped just two of her 24 arrows out of the 10-ring, that catapulted her to the top of the seedings.

Delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday’s qualification round at the Sports Complex Los Arcos welcomed the start of the 15th season of the international circuit. More than 18 months have passed since the most recent Hyundai Archery World Cup event, the final in 2019, took place in Moscow.

Reigning Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion Sara Lopez, who also won the most recent stage in Latin American and the most recent opening stage of the tour, which was held in Medellin in 2019, seeded only 11th after scoring 692 points. It is an unusually low total and position over the ranking round for the most successful compound woman of all time.

It’s been three years since she qualified outside the top eight and didn’t receive a bye into the third round.

Linda Ochoa-Anderson, making her debut for the USA after previously representing Mexico, placed seventh with 695, making it three archers for the States in the top eight and a comfortable top seeding in the compound women’s team competition. (Mexico had two – Andrea Becerra in fifth and Esmeralda Sanchez in sixth.)

Reigning World Archery Champion Natalia Avdeeva, coming off an impressive windy victory at the European Grand Prix in Antalya, seeded eighth with 693.

This event in Guatemala is the first of three consecutive months of Hyundai Archery World Cup stages.

Competition continues for compound archers at the season opener with eliminations, down to the final four, on Wednesday in Guatemala City.

Top 8 seeds: Compound women

  1. Paige Pearce, United States – 707
  2. Alejandra Usquiano, Colombia – 704
  3. Alexis Ruiz, United States – 702
  4. Tanja Gellenthien, Denmark – 701
  5. Andrea Becerra, Mexico – 698
  6. Esmeralda Sanchez, Mexico – 697
  7. Linda Ochoa-Anderson, United States – 695
  8. Natalia Avdeeva, Russia – 693