Andrea Marcos explains how Antalya win turned into a lifelong career

It’s been over a decade since Andrea Marcos gave shooting a bow and arrow a try – and decided to stick with it. What initially began as a hobby became much more. It’s because of archery that she has the education that has allowed her to become a physiotherapist.

“My first international event was the World Archery Championships in Belek in 2013. Then, due to personal reasons at home, I didn’t compete in 2014. My father left and it was difficult,” explained Marcos.

“One year later, I went to Antalya and that’s when everything changed.”

The then-26-year-old’s first international medal was an individual gold at the Archery World Cup stage in Turkey in 2015. She used the prize money from that event to pay for her studies.

“That’s something I value a lot because we were not going through an easy situation back then and it changed it all,” said Andrea.

Four years later, aged 30, she’s one of two compound women representing Spain at the second stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Shanghai, China.

Now a qualified physiotherapist, she’s had more success as an archer, too – winning her second Hyundai Archery World Cup stage in Salt Lake City in 2017 and becoming European Champion in 2018.

She’s not a full-time athlete, though, and when at home she works nine hours a day in a small town near Leon in the north of Spain.

“I’m surrounded by three military academies. There’s a lot of people, they come to me and my business works,” said Marcos. “They also give me a space in one of the academies to train, so it’s even better.”

She doesn’t start working until the early afternoon, so two or more hours every morning are dedicated to her own shooting.

“Having to train alone has taught me discipline and order in life. It’s not easy, but I do it because the day I come to Shanghai to compete I want to do it well,” she explained.

Being self-employed isn’t easy when it comes to competing abroad.

She has to be critical of the events she chooses, because being away means not earning money, like Medellin and Shanghai over Antalya and Berlin this season. She’ll also shoot the 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships and European Games.

The place for those continental Games in Minsk this summer, the first of its kind to include a compound competition, was won when she took the European title in Poland last summer. It’s her biggest accolade to date.

“Winning the final against Yesim Bostan at the European Championships was something I didn’t expect at all. After all, she’s the world number one,” said Andrea. “But as a compound, it is the worlds I dream of. I wish I could win it. I’m not a full-time archer but I try hard, so that would be the peak of my career.”

The diminutive Spaniard has already come further than she thought possible. She thought her small size would prevent her from getting to the highest level.

It’s her height, even, that Andrea says motivates her – and provides the drive to prove herself against other talented international athletes.

“If you are going for gold, let it be against the best archer and then win,” she said. “That’s how you know how good your work has been.”

The second stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup takes place in Shanghai, China on 6-12 May.