Vazquez sets Americas’ record on the way to top seed in Guatemala City

Ana Vazquez shoots during qualification at the first stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World up in Guatemala City.

Ana Vazquez shot a qualification round of 680 to seed top in the recurve women’s competition and break the American continental record for the 72-arrow 70-metre ranking round on Tuesday at the first stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Guatemala City.

She also led the Mexican recurve women to set a new team record for the continent by two with 1988 points. 

“I have no words. There’s faces, expressions and emotions, but no words,” Vazquez said. “We had our team confidence before this, but this just reinforces it. We did in competition what we have already done in training.”

The runner-up at the world youth championships in 2019, Vazquez claimed the first seed with a comfortable margin of seven points, finishing ahead of Indian archers Ankita Bhakat and Deepika Kumari, who slotted in second and third place with 673 and 671 points, respectively.

Kumari held top positioning after the first half of shooting with 339 points, compared to Vazquez and Bhakat, who each had 335.

But the former world number one fell off the pace over the back half, struggling – perhaps with a little fatigue as, like most of the field, she adjusts back to competition – towards the latter arrows, coming down from full draw a few times and having to rush her last arrows.

Completed by the score of under-18 world champion Komalika Bari, the Indian women still took a comfortable top seed in the team event, 14 points up on Mexico.

India earned the second and third individual seeds of the women's recurve category at the first stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Guatemala City.

All eyes will be on 20-year-old Vazquez, though, after her performance today. She appeared only to get stronger as the round went on.

“When I shot the first half, I was battling a lot, I let down a lot of arrows and I came here with the goal to shoot more fluently,” she explained. “In the break, I spoke with my coach and I told him I wasn’t going for the points but for my shooting rhythm and whatever I could get with that.”

The switch in approach clearly worked. Ana is now well-positioned to build on her success from last month’s Pan American Championships, where she fell in the semifinals to fellow Mexican youngster Valentina Vazquez but took the bronze medal.

“I was having some troubles because I wasn’t believing I could do things well, so this, for me, is something huge. It shows me I can do it, that I am doing it. This doesn't end here, this is only the first stage of the World Cup and the idea is to continue it until Tokyo,” she said. “Yes, it was a good result, but I don’t want to stop here.”

Mexico, India, Germany and the USA each had two recurve women finish in the top eight in qualification.

Competition for those recurve archers continues on Thursday as they have a bye through tomorrow’s opening round of eliminations at this first stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Guatemala City.

Top 8 seeds: Recurve women

  1. Ana Vazquez, Mexico – 680
  2. Ankita Bhakat, India – 673
  3. Deepika Kumari, India – 671
  4. Casey Kaufhold, USA – 668
  5. Lisa Unruh, Germany – 668
  6. Michelle Kroppen, Germany–665
  7. Alejandra Valencia, Mexico– 663
  8. Mackenzie Brown, USA – 663