Sara Lopez wins record sixth World Cup Champion title in Yankton

Sara Lopez has become the first archer in history to win the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final six times after beating Toja Ellison in a comeback in Yankton.

Toja’s husband Brady, who was tied with Sara on five arriving at this tournament, will shoot for his sixth tomorrow.

“I’m very happy. This was the ending we were hoping for a great week my team had. I’m not capable of understanding what happened, I’m very excited,” said Sara. “It was a very tight final but thankfully things worked out for me.”

The Colombian archer has been to seven of these season-ending events since 2013 and won six of them, including the last four.

But things looked in doubt in Yankton.

Lopez and Ellison both opened the final with a perfect 30 points before Sara landed three consecutive nines that Toja used to take a two-point lead, 59-57. 

The trio of nines were courtesy of the wind and the 26-year-old being in a rush to shoot. Regaining her confidence, Sara’s barrage of 10s slowly closed the gap over the next two ends, reducing the deficit to Toja to one point with three arrows left to shoot.

Sara shot first in the fifth and landed a 10.

Toja followed with a nine and that left the match, which had once looked out of reach for the defending champion, level at 127 apiece. 

After another 10 from Sara, Ellison shot another nine – which gave Lopez the chance to win it with one final perfect arrow, which she duly delivered, stealing victory, 147-145.

“I made a mistake that cost me Toja taking the lead in the first ends, but I think with a lot of tranquility, things worked out and I knew I needed to shoot 30 if I wanted to beat her,” added Sara.

Lopez won her sixth World Cup Final title in the riverside arena of Yankton, just a couple of days after winning all three gold medals available at the 2021 World Archery Championships. She concluded a perfect week in the South Dakotan city taking more titles than any other archer.

“[This last title] means that despite the year I had, which didn’t start well, if put out all my work and effort on doing things well and with love, things happen.”

Silver medallist Toja Ellison displayed a fantastic shooting throughout her quarterfinal, semifinal and gold medal matches in Yankton.

The Slovenian archer didn’t miss the yellow, scoring matches of 147, 148 and 145 points.

“I’m happy with it. I wish that I could’ve finished that match stronger but a little bit of wind came into play I think for both Sarah and I and I’m happy with silver,” said Toja.

“I think all archers that stood on this field today can shoot in the yellow and today the conditions were pretty good. I think today was about 10s not even the yellow.”

Yankton 2021 is Toja’s third Hyundai Archery World Cup Final but the first one at which she has clinched a spot on the podium.

Her quarterfinal match against Andrea Becerra was a rematch from the bronze medal match at the worlds while her gold medal match against Lopez was a rematch of the championship semis.

The top seed at this event, Tanja Gellenthien of Denmark, beat Colombia’s Nora Valdez, 147-143, to claim bronze.

“It’s been an awesome, awesome season, I think it’s been better than what I could’ve hoped for but I’m really happy and I hope I can continue this next year,” said Tanja.

The Danish archer qualified for her third Hyundai Archery World Cup Final after winning silver in Guatemala and gold in Lausanne.

Competition continues in Yankton with the compound men’s finals this afternoon.

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