Sara Lopez breaks record for days ranked world number one

Sara Lopez has spent a total of 1196 days as world number one – a new record in the World Cup-era.

“I’m so happy and proud. I didn’t expect this news,” she said from her home in Pereira in central Colombia.

“This year was a bit rough to me but I fought until the end and I think that if you do everything with love, good things will happen to you.”

After a challenging start to the season, by her own admission, Lopez overcame demons, mental and technical, to finish the year with a flourish.

She dominated her competition at the world championships, collecting all three available world titles including her first-ever individual crown, and then delivered a record sixth Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion trophy just one week later.

The impressive run of results earned her a trip back to the top of the world ranking list for the first time since June 2019.

“Looking back at this season, it was definitely one of the biggest years for me,” said Sara.

“With the pandemic and everything happening in the family, people dying who were close to us, it was really hard to focus on archery and my career.”

“I’m just really happy that I finished the year strong and trusted myself again.”

Lopez already held the record for the longest consecutive time spent as world number one at 1035 days from 25 August 2014 to 25 June 2017.

Korean recurve woman Yun Ok Hee, however, had occupied the top spot in the rankings for a non-consecutive total of 1195 days in the height of her competitive period between 2008 and 2013.

The Hyundai Archery World Cup, archery’s annual international tournament circuit, was launched in 2006.

Since that time, elite competition has been readily available to the world’s best athletes and the world rankings a reliable comparison of performance at the highest level.