Rivalry? What rivalry? Lopez and Gibson do battle in Medellin

Ella Gibson at the 2022 World Games against Sara Lopez in the final

It’s been building all season, but now Sara Lopez and Ella Gibson will finally meet at a Hyundai Archery World Cup stage.

"Any real archery fan will be very excited to see the Gibson vs Lopez match and so am I,” says Sjef van den Berg about the clash and who are we to disagree with the former world number two recurve man?

Gibson and Lopez will go toe-to-toe on the line in Medellin, Colombia on Saturday afternoon as they clash in the compound women's individual semifinal of the final stage (stage four) of the circuit ahead of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Tlaxcala, Mexico.

Both are qualified through to the season finale: Gibson with two stage wins and Lopez on ranking points.

Could the pressure be a little bit more on the G.O.A.T. Lopez?

She is shooting at home as now world number two after losing to Gibson in the World Games final in the USA earlier the month and dropping down from the number one position she has held for a record-breaking time. 

“We've only shot against each other once this year and ever. I don't think you can even create a rivalry out of that,” said Gibson to The Archery Show about if there were the beginnings of a classic rivalry taking shape.

“We hardly know each other. We mutually respect one another and how well we both are shooting right now. It’s going to be a really great match on Saturday.”

Gibson and Lopez have met just once previously, in the World Games 2022 final

Lopez was happy to see that the level of compound women’s has grown with the high quality of competition amongst the top athletes in the world.

“It’s great,” she said. “It's good to see how we are now two archers that are shooting over 710, that's great for us because that puts us in the eye of people."

“I know how she feels,” she added about Gibson taking her world number one spot. “For her [it] will be amazing, [I remember how I felt] when I started winning against Erika Jones [and others].”

“I feel good too, because it makes me work harder and harder. I always say the world ranking is just a number for me. I won't lose focus, but it's great to see how girls are shooting even better than the guys right now.”

Lopez is in her first final four appearance of the season and will be supported by some people close to her at the finals arena in the Parque del Rio.

“My whole family is coming and that's what makes me the happiest,” she said. “I don't really care if I get medals or not. I just want them to see me shoot here and I'm so proud to finish the year as good as I did.”

So what can we all expect on Saturday afternoon?

“Let's hope 150 for both of us and a shoot-off,” smiles Lopez. “That would be amazing,” agrees Gibson.

“If we both just shoot to a high level then it will be a really great match both for us and for anyone watching.”

We will all be watching.