Ella Gibson knocks Sara Lopez off world number one spot
The British 22-year-old knocked the legendary Sara Lopez (who has spent a record non-consecutive 1445 days in that top spot) out of the lead, accruing the necessary ranking points by beating the Colombian archer in the final of the World Games last week.
“It feels super surreal right now,” says Gibson, speaking from Medellin where she is preparing for the fourth stage of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup this week.
“I planned on it and knew I would get there but didn’t think it would happen so soon or this year so that is definitely unexpected for me.”
Gibson has had a sensational year and it is only July.
She has collected the individual titles at both stages of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in which she has competed – Antalya and Paris – before adding that coveted multisport crown at the World Games in Birmingham.
“We walked off the stage and my coach Simon [Scott] hugged me and told me that I was world number one now because he had done all the maths before and figured out where I needed to finish to make it happen,” she says.
“I don’t quite feel that I can say I’m the best in the world or world number but one day I will. For now, I’ll just concentrate on one step at a time.”
The next step is Colombia. Qualification is on Tuesday and Gibson, who’s undeniably having the season of her career, will be the one to beat.
“It’s a bit of a target on your back,” she explains. “When I’ve ranked first at a competition you often have people shoot at a really, really high level against you more than they might normally do.”
Among the 46 compound women competing this week in Medellin will be home nation hero Lopez, who has a chance to earn the world number one title back – should the results fall her way at the event. Ella’s not fazed.
“If I keep that spot, amazing and if I don’t, that’s okay,” she says. “I’ll carry on working hard to get there and earn the number one spot [again].”