Mexico’s mixed team wins nation’s first medal at Tokyo 2020
Mexico won its first medal of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Saturday with a bronze in the mixed team archery event.
Alejandra Valencia and Luis Alvarez defeated Mete Gazoz and Yasemin Anagoz of Turkey, 6-2, to make its first-ever team podium in archery and its first podium overall since 2012, when Aida Roman took silver in the women’s individual event at the London Games.
The Mexicans, seeded fourth, jumped to a 2-0 lead with four straight nines to open the match, then experienced a scare when Alvarez shot a two with his first arrow of the second set to allow Turkey back into the match.
A nearly perfect third set righted the ship for Mexico, which scored 39 to regain the lead. Neither team shot particularly well in the fourth, but Mexico held strong to win the match.
"It's happiness,” Valencia said. “It's like a reward for all the work we have done, all the effort we put into this, everything we did to be here.”
Mexico defeated Germany and Great Britain handily to start the day before running into top-ranked Korea in the semifinals. An San and Kim Je Deok humbled Valencia and Alvarez, 5-1, but the Mexicans regained focus in time to reach the podium over Turkey.
“We lost the semifinal, but we did our work, and we still felt we did it well,” Valencia said. “Then, in the bronze medal match, we got over the bad shots and focused on the good ones to make this possible."
Turkey’s young pair of Gazoz and Anagoz expressed considerable disappointment following the match. The duo, seeded seventh after qualifying, never scored more than 36 in a set.
Mexico scored just 34 points in the fourth to invite Turkey back into the match, but the young duo was unable to capitlaise. Anagoz, shooting in her second Olympics, scored a five with her last arrow.
“I feel awful, actually. It’s been a huge disappointment,” Anagaoz said. “My last shot, I’ve been in hell. I can say that.”
Competition continues at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with women’s team day on Sunday.