Rendon: “I want to be ranked in the world’s top 15”

At 27, Ana Maria Rendon is part of a talented generation of Latin American athletes who have big hopes for the next stage of the Archery World Cup, due to stop in Medellin, Colombia, on home soil. She had a solid performance in Antalya, being eliminated in the fourth round by Russia’s Inna Stepanova.

What does Medellin 2013 mean for you?

For all of Colombia, and for me in particular, it is a great opportunity to have the World Cup come to Medellin. It is also a great achievement for the Colombian Federation and for archery in our country. It gives the advantage of shooting on home soil and feeling the Colombian energy.

Does that come with extra pressure?

I do not feel any pressure at all; on the contrary, I see it as a positive energy and support.

Medellin is a candidate city for the Youth Olympic Games in 2018 – what is Colombian support for the bid like?

People are very excited about the idea of organising the Games.

On 23 June, the city will host a race for Olympic Day; 30,000 people are expected and I will participate. I sincerely believe that we are on the right track and we have a very good chance of being selected as host city for the Youth Olympics.

Medellin has put in tremendous effort and greatly improved itself for the bid. It is a beautiful city that lives for sport.

What would you say to people who doubt Colombia’s ability to organise international events?

I think every country has its problems, but both Medellin and Colombia have made significant progress.

We were voted the most innovative city in the world with everything that title implies. People have started to realise the importance of the Youth Olympic Games, of our revolutionary metro transport system and of the cultural dimension that comes from all this.

It is a new city, a beautiful country to explore, and when they visit us people want to stay. Don’t be scared, you’ll love our country, you will feel comfortable and safe.

What are your goals this season?

I hope to enter the top 15 of the world ranking. In Antalya I managed to place in the top sixteen, so I’m on the right path, and I will give everything in Medellin.

Describe the progress of Colombian archery over the last few years

The growth has been strong for the past eight years, since we started working with Korean coaches.

At the Beijing Olympics, we delivered an excellent performance; at the London Games, we had some problems with the federation, but we athletes were able to overcome these difficulties to get where we are today.

Personally, I train under a Colombian coach who unfortunately could not come to Turkey, and I must say that the teachings of the Koreans are very well adapted for working with Colombian and Latin American mentalities.

I see big progress and we continue to aim even higher.

What is your proudest achievement to date?

I am proud of many things: to have qualified for the Beijing Games was spectacular and the team was fantastic. We faced Korea, and were very relaxed shooting against them because we knew it was not possible to beat them but that the highest scoring loser would advance to the next round.

In the end, we shot very well and claimed that spot for the next round!

So far in 2013, nothing can be more rewarding than Antalya, where I achieved excellent scores in the qualification round: I shot my personal best and a national record, for the third time of my career. Even though I was defeated in the fourth round, I am delighted because I did a very good job and I am getting very close to the top.

In Medellin, I’ll get there!

Your dream?

World champion in Belek! And my goal for the future is an Olympic medal.