Mexico’s Dafne Quintero comfortable stepping up to senior circuit

Mexico's Dafne Quintero at Gwangju 2022

After spending time dreaming of competing against the compound women’s GOAT, Sara Lopez, on the international circuit, Mexico’s Dafne Quintero went right ahead and beat her.

Earlier this year, Quintero delivered a last-arrow victory over the Colombian world number one in Puerto Rico. The 20-year-old described it as “a great moment”.

More great moments are expected from Quintero as she, and her Mexican team, make their international circuit debut this week in Gwangju.

The team gold medallist from the 2021 World Archery Youth Championships has started strong. She seeded third with a 697 in qualifying earlier today in Korea, just three points behind Lopez – who was in the top spot – and two points off Dafne’s career-best.

“I’m really happy for this because I have been training so many hours and that’s the result,” she said after qualification was finished at the Gwangju International Archery Centre.

“I only do what I love and, no, I don’t have expectations.”

No expectations. It is the dream of any archer. A complete no-stress zone with no pressure on results and focus only on the process – draw, aim, shoot… and repeat.

It doesn’t mean that Quintero isn’t enjoying the ride as she makes the move onto the senior world circuit.

And what a way to do it – in Korea, a bastion of the sport, as part of a Mexican squad featuring luminaries such as Luis Alvarez, Andrea Becerra, Miguel Becerra, Alejandra Valencia, Ana Vazquez, Valentina Vazquez and the legendary Aida Roman.

“I’m really comfy with my team,” she says in her relaxed, matter-of-fact manner. “It’s my first time in Korea and my first World Cup. The weather is really cool, a little bit of wind, but that’s really good.”

“I have only shot at youth category and university level [internationally] and it’s not a problem making the step up.”

Further steps up are on the horizon for Quintero, but will they be made in Asia this week? Only time will tell.

Dafne will be back in action for compound eliminations on Thursday afternoon in Gwangju.