Mexican archers win six golds at first Junior Pan Am Games

Dafne Quintero celebrates winning two gold medals at the Cali 2021 Junior Pan American Games.

Valentina Vazquez, Sebastian Garcia and Dafne Quintero led Mexico to six golds and the top of archery‘s medal table at the first Junior Pan American Games in Cali this weekend.

“This is an historical result,“ said Garcia, a former under-18 world champion.

“I’m happy because all of my teammates will take back home a medal.”

Garcia and Quintero won the individual compound events – and the pair combined to collect the mixed team title after a thriller against the top-seeded duo from host nation Colombia.

Although there was no compound team event in Cali, recurve doubles did shoot for medals.

Mexico won both men’s and women’s golds.

Valentina Vazquez, the reigning senior Pan American Champion since Monterrey earlier this year, partnered with Akshara Licea to defeat the USA in the women’s team final.

Having also beaten Colombia’s Allyx Zuluaga to the individual title in straight sets, she had a shot at a third gold.

Valentina Vazquez prepares to shoot at the Cali 2021 Junior Pan American Games.

But in the recurve mixed team final, paired with Carlos Vaca, a last-arrow seven would prove deadly to Mexico – and hand the win to Olympian Casey Kaufhold and Trenton Cowles of the USA.

Cowles, who is the reigning Youth Olympic Champion (an under-18 event), would also beat Jesus Flores to the recurve men’s individual gold with a better nine in a tiebreak.

“All my hard work from training has paid off,” said Trenton, who matched Vazquez’s impressive personal medal haul. “I won two golds and a silver. I’m speechless.”

Kaufhold and Nicholas D’Amour, the two archers in Cali to have competed at this summer’s Olympic Games, each shot for bronze. Kaufhold won while D’Amour lost to a better 10 from Puerto Rico’s Adrian Munoz in a tiebreak.

Reigning senior Pan American Games Champion Roberto Hernandez was also at the event – at the age of 32, not competing – but as a coach.

He stood behind Paola Corado as she beat Madison Cox to third – and Corado, representing El Salvador in a pairing with Gerardo Rivas, collected another bronze medal in the compound mixed team event.

These first Junior Pan American Games are seen as a stepping stone towards the next major senior multisport event in the continent, which will take place in Santiago de Chile in 2023. The city will also host the next Pan American Championships in late 2022.

Medal table

1. MEX flag  Mexico: 8 (6 gold, 2 silver)
2. USA flag USA: 6 (2 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze)
3. COL flag Colombia: 5 (3 silver, 2 bronze)
=4. PUR flag Puerto Rico: 2 (2 bronze)
=4. ESA flag El Salvador: 2 (2 bronze)
6. BRA flag Brazil: 1 (1 bronze)

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