Eight-time champion Lopez books first arena appearance of 2024

Sara Lopez celebrates making the final four.

Eight-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion Sara Lopez beat India’s Jyothi Surekha Vennam, who won the season opener last month, by three points (145-142) in the quarterfinals to book her first final four of the year at the Yecheon Jinho International Archery Field.

Despite lifting the circuit trophy each year, Lopez hasn’t won a stage since late 2021.

“It’s been a while,” she joked after the session. She did finish second twice in 2023. “And it’s been a while since I’ve been so happy on the shooting line. My focus was just shooting and having fun with Alejandra [Usquiano], who’s one of my closest friends.”

“We knew that conditions would be difficult but we always told ourselves, like, be strong. Be strong. Not only strong in your shot but strong mentally.”

Lopez and Vennam were tied on 87 points after nine arrows. Then the Indian world number uncharacteristically two dropped another five over the last two ends.

The Colombian legend will now face top seed Han Seungyeon in the first compound women’s semifinal on Saturday afternoon before Shanghai runner-up Andrea Becerra takes on world number one Ella Gibson in the second. This is the home nation Han’s first final four.

James Lutz, Prathamesh Fuge, Sawyer Sullivan and Mike Schloesser comprise the compound men‘s final four in Yecheon.

Lutz knocked out defending circuit champion – and Yecheon top seed – Mathias Fullerton in their quarterfinal.

The pair tied on 148 points in regulation, Fullerton shooting the last arrow of the eight-archer line (a 10) to send the match to the tiebreak. He shot quicker in the shoot-off, also a 10, but former world champion Lutz’s was better.

Jimmy has three previous stage wins. Two in 2019, the year he won the worlds, and one in 2022. He’s made the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final three times but never advanced past his first match.

The two US archers – Lutz and Sullivan – are on opposite sides of the semifinal bracket in Yecheon.

“I’ve looked up to Jimmy my whole archery career,” said Sullivan. “When I started archery, I looked up to him and wanted to be just like him. It’s really cool for me to be in the same final four as him.”

Most archers said the wind was a challenge all afternoon on this expansive – and excellent – range in Yecheon. World number one Schloesser reckoned it helped.

“I felt like I could play with the wind a lot,” he said. “It gave me a lot of confidence, so everything was spot on today. I’m very satisfied with everything and hope Saturday is going to be the same because it was awesome shooting today.”

Competition continues in Yecheon with mixed team eliminations on Friday morning followed by recurve eliminations in the afternoon.

Finals: Yecheon 2024

Full results on the event page.

Compound men

Compound women

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