Vazquez beats conditions as Mexico dominates Puerto Rico qualifying

Ana Vazquez shoots during qualifying in Puerto Rico.

Mexican archers took three of four top seeds at the first major event of the year for archers in the Americas, the Puerto Rico Cup – a world ranking event being held this week at the Juan Roman Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon.

Ana Vazquez (651), Miguel Becerra (700) and Mariana Bernal (699) took top seeds in the individual events for a Mexican squad that also qualified top in all but one team competition. Santiago Arcila of Colombia – and the Colombian compound women’s team – broke the sweep by beating Luis Alvarez to recurve men’s pole on 10s.

Both shot 647 points but Arcila found the 10 25 times to Alvarez’s 19.

Vazquez and her Olympic teammates from Tokyo 2020 – Aida Roman (640) and Alejandra Valencia (639) – slotted in spots one, two and three after recurve women’s qualifying, shot during the morning session under tough conditions, which didn’t get much easier as the day progressed.

“I’m very happy with the result,” said the leader. “It’s difficult for me to shoot with the wind and this humidity. It’s not my climate. But I exceeded my expectations and shot very well.”

Only one compound archer, Becerra in the men’s event, broke the 700 mark.

The host, Puerto Rico, had its best qualifier in the same event: Jean Pizarro with 695, which was good enough for third.

Reigning world number one and world champion Sara Lopez of Colombia led the compound women’s field after 36 of the 72 arrows for the 50-metre round with 349 but struggled over the back half, and with the conditions, to drop down to third. Meanwhile, eventual top qualifier, Bernal, only got stronger, recording a field-best 355 to jump the same distance in the leaderboard in the opposite direction.

“I was able to control myself and have fun,” said the 19-year-old Mexican archer. “I did not expect to achieve that score in those conditions but you must adapt, and the one who adapts best is the one who wins.”

Competition continues in Puerto Rico with team eliminations on Wednesday. This event is also awarding quota places to the next Central American and Caribbean Games, due to be held in El Salvador in 2023.

The individual finals will be streamed live on World Archery’s YouTube channel this Sunday.

Top seeds: Puerto Rico Cup 2022