Sara Lopez wins first-ever compound women’s title at the Pan American Games

Colombian world number two Sara Lopez beat Mexican archer Andrea Becerra, 146-142, to take the first-ever gold medal for compound women in the history of the Pan American Games at the 2019 edition in Lima, Peru.

Recurve archery has featured on the programme of the continental multisport event since 1979. Compound was added for the first time in 2019.

“I’m very happy. It was something I was missing. The worlds might have not worked out for me but this was the one,” said Lopez.

“I’m in shock. It was difficult. She’s a tough archer and I knew it was going to be tight. I was shaking all the way until the end. It’s been a long time since I felt like this – but everything worked out.”

Arguably the best compound woman ever to grace the international circuit, Lopez was the favourite arriving in Lima.

She qualified first with 708 points for the 72-arrow 70-metre round.

The eliminations matches saw her dispatch local Peruvian athlete Beatriz Aliaga and world silver medallist Paige Pearce. That set up the final against Universiade Champion Andrea Becerra.

Four-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion Lopez started the gold medal match with six straight 10s.

She was two points up with one end left to shoot.

Sara’s last three arrows were three perfect Xs. Becerra had no chance to catch up. Lopez won the first-ever compound women’s title at the Pan American Games, 146 points to 142.

“It’s the first one in history and it’s mine. It’s what I’ve been working for all year. I started to visualise it since I knew compound was going to be at the Pan Americans,“ said Sara. “I was like, that’s mine, and I fought for it. It wasn’t a good year for me but this compensates for everything.”

Becerra, still just 19 years of age, takes her second major podium in as many months, after the Universiade in Napoli.

“I think I’m missing experience,” she said. “I know Sara Lopez is the best and just being next to her is a great motivation. There’s still a lot of work to do and I will continue working.”

The USA’s Paige Pearce shot 149 points to beat Maria Eugenia Gonzalez of Argentina to bronze.

The archery competitions at the 2019 Pan American Games take place on 6-11 August in Lima, Peru.