Andrea Marcos is the one to beat in Antalya

Andrea Marcos shoots at the second stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Lausanne.

If anyone deserved a vacation, it was Andrea Marcos

Not that it was a sabbatical of her choosing. The compound woman from Spain was unable to attend the opening stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup after her pre-flight PCR test returned positive for COVID-19.

So she waited. What’s two more weeks after an 18-month hiatus? While the rest of the archery community converged on Guatemala City for the long-awaited return of the international circuit, the full-time – and fully vaccinated – physiotherapist was confined to her home, sunbathing in her garden with a glass of wine cradled in her hand.

“In my normal life, I have no time to relax. I get up at 07h00 for my mental and physical work, at 9h30 I go to the military base, where I shoot until 12h00, then I go home to prepare some food and go to the clinic until 21h00.” Marcos said. “Five days in my garden at home seemed like a vacation to me.”

Marcos made up for lost time last week in Lausanne when she collected silver at the second stage of the international circuit, and now she’s preparing for another tournament that has taken longer than expected to arrive.

The reigning champion of a normally biennial event that last took place in 2018, Marcos still considers herself the favourite to win the 2021 Antalya European Championships – assuming her next test result complies.

“I’m going to be the woman to beat, and that’s never easy,” Marcos said. “Lausanne was very important because it has reminded me that I can be among the best in the world, despite having a job.”

“It has trained me under maximum pressure, and anticipating all those high-competition emotions will help me in Antalya.”

Marcos is on an escalated timeline after missing the season opener in Guatemala City – and having been unable to see patients during her time in quarantine. She will be home for five days, working 50 hours at the clinic during that time, all while attending physiotherapy of her own, training and packing for Antalya.

She will arrive in Turkey ranked as the world number eight – but the rankings, after last year’s hiatus, can be deceptive.

Andrea shot the best qualifying of her international career last week, breaking 700 points at a stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup for the very first time. But then, she’s never been top seeder – just dangerous in matchplay.

Andrea Marcos shoots at the second stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Lausanne.

Andrea now also plans on attending the third stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Paris, a tournament she originally planned to skip, as it represents her last opportunity to qualify for the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in September.

With one fewer stage of the circuit in this Olympic season, there is very little margin for error.

“Being under pressure in the finals in Lausanne is definitely going to be very positive for Antalya,” Marcos said. “Feeling the pressure is something that can hardly be trained without being in that special situation.”

The frenetic pace aligns with her personality.

Sipping wine in the sun might be nice, but Marcos prefers the propulsive lifestyle that keeps her busy.

“I don’t know if I will be successful,” she said. “What I do know is that I have done everything possible to prepare myself. I think right now I’m the best archer I’ve been in 12 years since I started shooting, and that’s my real success.”

Competition at the European Championships starts with qualification on Tuesday in Antalya.

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