Brazilian duo D’Almeida, Dos Santos make Pan Am Champs finals
D’Almeida beat Mexican top seed Matias Grande, 7-3, in their semifinal.
“I’m very happy because it’s the end of the year and the last competition of the year. To be in the final, that feeling is very important for starting next year,” said the 24-year-old.
“My mind was free. Less pressure, just shooting, because the pressure was on yesterday and winning the team place for the Pan American Games. Today, just shooting.”
The top five nations, excluding Chile, in the recurve men’s team event this week won full three-athlete quotas for next year’s Pan Am Games, which will also take place in Santiago.
Brazil finished sixth (with Chile in fourth) and collected the slots.
D’Almeida finished second individually at the last edition of these championships in 2021. He seeded fifth this week – but will face Cuban third qualifier Hugo Franco in the recurve men’s title match on Sunday afternoon.
“I know him. He’s shooting very well. Let’s see how it goes in the final,” said Marcus.
The two-time Olympian won the first major event of his career earlier this summer at the Hyundai Archery World Cup stage in Paris. Santiago could prove his second.
Dos Santos last medalled at the Pan American Championships in 2014 when she finished third.
The 28-year-old, who booked a ticket to her second Olympics by winning the continental qualifier held at last year’s championships in Monterrey, has already secured a career-best result by making the final.
She’ll face last year’s bronze medallist, Mexico’s Ana Paula Vazquez, for gold in Santiago.
“I‘m pretty happy. If I’m going to be honest with you, I didn’t think I’d be going to the gold medal final. I’m working on certain things,” said Vazquez.
“I felt focused. I didn’t have those thoughts that touch your mind and freak you out. Maybe some of them but I knew how to deal with them. Mentally, I did a great job. A pretty great job.”
“Technically… there was wind. With wind, you have to improvise!”
Vazquez seeded fifth, upset Olympic medallist teammate Alejandra Valencia in the quarters and then dispatched top qualifier Casey Kaufhold in the semis. Both she and Kaufhold nearly missed their match, thinking it was scheduled for finals day.
“My coach stopped me taking my equipment off and said, ‘you are shooting right now’,” explained Ana Paula. “Both of us were a little unfocused. Well, Casey shot a 29 the first end so not that unfocused! But everything was a little funny.”
Recurve finals are scheduled for Sunday afternoon at the 2022 Pan American Championships in Santiago, Chile.