Venue tour: Guatemala 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup stage 1

Branding at the first stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Guatemala City.

The Hyundai Archery World Cup is back for its 15th season in 2021 and, with it, two brand-new venues for stages on the international circuit in Guatemala and Paris – and this brand-new behind-the-scenes article series.

At each event, we’ll give a brief tour of the facilities that host the world’s best archers.

The first stage of the season takes us to Guatemala City in Latin America. Due to make its debut as a leg of the circuit in 2020, that premier was delayed by 12 months due to the pandemic. It’s a challenge – not only to run an event of this magnitude but to do so in the current climate, with additional focus on athlete well-being and numerous health regulations.

This week’s competition is taking place at the Sport Complex Los Arcos, in the University of San Carlos, which is very close to Guatemala City’s international airport. More than 130 archers are taking part.

The competition field at the first stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Guatemala City.

Competition field

More than 130 archers will shoot on the 50-target qualification and eliminations range this week. The finals, which were due to move to a city-centre location, will also take place in the same venue. On Wednesday night, the field will be split and the right half transformed into an arena.

Practice field

This venue features two supplementary practice fields.

A six-target 70-metre practice field, which is where these pictures were taken, is located just behind the main range, running perpendicular with the targets at the left side and shooting line near the right side of that main range. A small 50-metre field runs just to the left of the main field. It’s a bit of a jigsaw puzzle – but there’s plenty of space!

Shooting line

Normally at international events, three archers shoot on a single target at one time during qualification. In Guatemala, two archers are shooting on each target in two separate details. (That means one of the archers shoots, then the other archer shoots. A buzzer indicates when the detail switches.)

It has dramatically increased the space on the line, adding in-built social distancing and allowing athletes – and coaches – to better maintain the space required by health regulations. And, as some archers joked during practice today, more room to throw their bow arms around.

Equipment inspection

Every archer gets their gear inspected during practice day at international events. It happened at the left side of the main range in Guatemala.

Team managers meeting at the first stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Guatemala City.

Team managers’ meeting

Every team leader attends an official meeting on practice day at stages of the Hyundai Archery World Cup. Subjects covered today include the multitude of health and well-being regulations, a run-through of the week’s schedule – and new early-phase interview procedures being trialled at this tournament.

Competition at the first stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup starts with qualification tomorrow in Guatemala City.