Sara Lopez wins record fifth Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion title

Colombia’s Sara Lopez beat World Archery Champion Natalia Avdeeva of Russia, 149-139, to take compound women’s gold in Moscow and claim an historic fifth Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion title.

“I’m really happy. I’m happy because even though I didn’t have the best year of my life, I made history with this and the Pan American Games. Those were my main goals this year. And I’m really happy and proud,” she said.

“It was a really long journey to this event. I’m really tired because it was a really long year but I’ve finally got what I really wanted.”

Lopez was champion of the international circuit in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018. She is now the first archer to claim five titles, breaking her tie with Brady Ellison for at least a day.

Ellison will shoot in the recurve men’s event on Saturday in Moscow.

“I knew it was going to be hard because everyone was paying attention to me and Brady. And I know he will be really nervous tomorrow,” said Lopez.

“It’s difficult to open the finals. Because it was my first match and it was my first arrow that opened the finals. But I’m really proud and it’s a relief that it’s finally over.”

The 24-year-old, who also became Pan American Games Champion in 2019, was simply the best archer in the arena.

She started the session strongest, opening with 147 points to beat So Chaewon, and then defeated Sophie Dodemont, 146-143.

Avdeeva knocked out world number one Alexis Ruiz in her first match. She defeated Tanja Jensen in her semifinal – for a chance at becoming the first archer representing the host nation to win gold at a Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.

It wasn’t to be.

Even before two wild shots in the fourth end, Natalia trailed a near-perfect Lopez by four after nine arrows. Sara only needed to hit with her last shot to take the title.

Instead, she hit the 10.

“I’m not upset but at times, things didn’t really work well for me. I hope that I’ll make the Final again next year,” said silver-medallist Avdeeva.

“It’s really cool that I was representing Russia here. It was an amazing feeling. I didn’t think about my birthday today because it was more important to win for my country.”

This is the 31-year-old Russian archer’s second medal at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final. She finished third in Lausanne in 2014. 

Sophie Dodemont beat Tanja Jensen, 143-141, in the compound women’s bronze medal match.

At 46 years of age, she was the oldest athlete to qualify for Moscow and make a third career Hyundai Archery World Cup Final appearance. This marks her first podium at the event.

“It’s a dream. Since the world championships, my level has increased. I planned to come here to take a medal and I won bronze,” said Sophie. “I hope next year I can make one more step forward minimum.”

So Chaewon, Toja Ellison, Danelle Wentzel and Alexis Ruiz, the quarterfinal losers, ranked fifth to eighth.

Ruiz and Braden Gellenthien partnered to defeat hosts Russia in the mixed team exhibition match. It is the third year in a row that the visitors win.

The 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final takes place on 6-7 September in Moscow, Russia.