Five archers who impressed at the fourth stage of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup
The fourth and final stage of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup saw 266 athletes from the national teams of 35 countries compete in Medellin, Colombia.
Recurve world number ones An San and Kim Woojin impressed with shows of pure skill, 12 months after they medalled at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Individual Olympic Champion An sealed her spot in Tlaxcala with the win in Colombia and Tokyo team gold medallist Kim secured his second stage victory of the season after Gwangju. But instead of the obvious, let’s look at five other archers who impressed in Medellin.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know on our social channels using the hashtag #ArcheryWorldCup.
1. James Lutz
The US compounder literally landed on every step of the podium on his way to gold in Medellin, taking team bronze and mixed team silver before the individual win. The multi-medalling performance was the result of a change in attitude for the 2019 World Archery Champion.
“To win, to prove myself again,” he said on the eve of the finals in Medellin. “I've slacked off a little bit the last couple of years. Now, I've got the fire again.”
After seeding second, the 24-year-old scythed through the bracket to record his first big win in three years and book a ticket to Tlaxcala. But despite his own success, Lutz was quick to think about his fellow athletes. Twice.
First, shooting with Linda Ochoa-Anderson in her 41st and final appearance on the Hyundai Archery World Cup.
“I feel like I let Linda down,” he said about not winning gold after a loss in the mixed team final to Denmark. “Silver for her last-ever world cup stage. I’m honoured to be a part of that.”
And after beating Miguel Becerra to individual gold, his first thoughts were for his opponent, who shot a miss with his fifth arrow.
“I’m heartbroken for Miguel,” said Lutz. “You never want to win that way. I mean, really, my heart just sank. It's just made me sick.”
Eventually, his thoughts turned to Tlaxcala: “I’m super, super excited.”
2. Ana Caetano
A breakthrough Hyundai Archery World Cup stage for the 19-year-old Brazilian archer.
In just her third appearance on the circuit, Caetano and recurve mixed team partner Marcus D’Almeida recovered from a semifinal defeat to eventual winners Chinese Taipei to take down the Olympic Champion duo of An San and Kim Je Deok for bronze.
Their 6-2 win came despite a perfect 40 from the Koreans in the third set, but it was Caetano’s heady performance in particular that saw her collect her first-ever medal on the international tour.
“This girl,” said Marcus after the medal was confirmed while looking at Caetano and smiling. “She shot a lot and I just had to do a simple job: to shoot the gold with the last arrow.”
When you make it easy for D’Almeida, then you’re doing something right.
In June 2006, Linda Ochoa was representing Mexico when she stepped up to the line in Antalya to shoot her first arrow on the Hyundai Archery World Cup. She would go out in the second round of that tournament to Oktyabrina Bolotova.
In July 2022, and after 41 stages, 21 medals and four appearances at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final (and four medals from those), Ochoa-Anderson, now shooting for the USA, has completed her time on the circuit.
She ended on the podium in Medellin with a silver medal in the compound mixed team event, paired with James Lutz. It was the same colour as her first-ever medal won on the circuit – individual silver at the fourth stage in Shanghai in September 2006.
“It felt great to be in the finals field one last time,” said Ochoa-Anderson. “I enjoyed it arrow by arrow. I’ll take every arrow as a memory forever. That desire [to win] never goes away.”
4. Ella Gibson
We’ve written about Ella once or twice in 2022: She’s the new World Games Champion, a multiple Hyundai Archery World Cup stage winner, the new world number one ranking spot, records broken…
In the home nation of Sara Lopez, Gibson beat the local hero in a superb semifinal, becoming the first since the Colombian archer to win three Hyundai Archery World Cup stages in a single year and the only one to achieve it in 2022.
She didn't win all four individual titles this season because she wasn’t in Gwangju. It could have been a clean sweep with the form she is in.
“I became world number one at the beginning of this week, but that puts a lot of expectation on yourself and you still want to be able to perform and show that you do deserve that place in the ranking, that it isn’t a one off or fluke or anything like that,” she said.
5. Sara Lopez
Who else but the legend Lopez? With Colombia missing stage three of this year’s circuit in Paris, Lopez had just three attempts to book her ticket to Mexico.
Fifth place in Antalya was followed by ninth in Gwangju. Then the break for Paris came. Lopez competed and won at the Bolivarian Games at home but then lost to Gibson in the final at the World Games. With it, her number one world ranking went, too – and the following week she would have to do it all again at home, in front of her family and friends.
The six-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion still needed points, if she wanted a chance to defend her title in Tlaxcala in October.
Would the pressure be too much?
The answer was no, of course. Despite losing to Gibson again, this time in the semifinal, Lopez confirmed her spot in Mexico as a points qualifier and then reminded the archery world just how good she is, shooting a new world record for 15-arrow matchplay of 150 with 12 Xs. It’s the highest score shot by anyone, ever in front of cameras.
“The individual medal takes a back seat when you have a team responsibility. I already have individual medals, and for me, the objective was the team gold,” she said. Lopez’s family was watching the legendary performance from the stands.
“I feel very happy and very supported because I know it was not easy for them to come here. They all made sacrifices to come with me.”