Mexico’s Quintero shocks world champ Lopez to win Puerto Rico Cup

Dafne Quintero wins the world ranking event in Puerto Rico

Mexico took three individual titles as Dafne Quintero, Rodrigo Olvera and Olympic medallist Alejandra Valencia led their nation to the top of the medal table at the Puerto Rico Cup, the first world ranking event in the Americas in 2022. The host’s Adrian Munoz took the recurve men’s gold.

Quintero delivered the result of the day, upsetting the legendary Sara Lopez to the compound women’s title.

“I dreamed of being able to face Sara,” she said. “Knowing who my opponent would be helped me prepare for a strong match. This is a great moment for me. I’m very happy with the result.”

Quintero, the number four seed this week at the Juan Roman Loubriel Stadium, trailed the reigning World Archery Champion by two points after nine arrows and looked beaten. But a perfect end in the fourth levelled the match and, with Lopez failing to find the middle with her last arrow, Dafne was able to deliver the 10 she needed to take the victory, 144-143.

Her win contributed towards the impressive 11-strong medal haul for the Mexican team on this early-in-the-season international trip.

And while the Mexican women suffered a shock shoot-off loss to Colombia in the recurve women’s team final, neither Alejandra Valencia’s recurve women’s win – over talented young teammate Valentina Vazquez – nor Rodrigo Olvera taking the compound men’s gold were a surprise. Olvera, after all, had beaten Pan Am Games Champion Roberto Hernandez earlier in eliminations.

But Adrian Munoz’s performance in Puerto Rico was impressive, unlikely and very, very welcome – especially for the home fans.

Having seeded top under tough conditions on home soil in Puerto Rico, Adrian Munoz could have had an easy path to the final. Instead, he faced the archer placed highest in the recurve men’s world rankings shooting at the event – Mexico’s Angel Alvarado – and impressive Chilean Olympian Ricardo Soto.

Munoz needed a tiebreak to beat Alvarado and five sets to take out Soto – which is the same distance he’d take the final against the unheralded Guatemalan archer Marco Lopez.

But the final score belied the story of the match.

Munoz was in control, except for a sharp riposte from Lopez in the third set, and the final 10 that the home nation archer delivered to win the final set – and win the match, 6-4, resulted in a wave of emotion and a salute to the empathic home crowd.

“I’m super excited, I wanted to do it in front of our people and it happened,” said Munoz. “It was dramatic and super nervous, I did not know that I could win with that 10. Now I have to continue working and managed the nerves.”

Munoz won three medals in total, his gold joined by a silver in the recurve mixed team and recurve men’s team events.

His individual gold, though, was a fitting conclusion to this incredible opener for the American international calendar, an event that also acted as the primary qualifier for the 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games.

Champions: Bayamon 2022

  • Recurve men: Adrian Munoz, Puerto Rico
  • Recurve women:  Alejandra Valencia, Mexico
  • Compound men: Rodrigo Olvera, Mexico
  • Compound women: Dafne Quintero, Mexico
  • Recurve men team: Guatemala
  • Recurve women team: Colombia
  • Recurve mixed team: Mexico
  • Compound men team: Mexico
  • Compound women team: Colombia
  • Compound mixed team: Colombia

Medal table: Bayamon 2022

1. MEX flag Mexico: 11 (5 gold, 4 silver, 2 bronze)
2. COL flag Colombia: 7 (3 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze)
3. GUA flag Guatemala: 5 (1 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze)
4. PUR flag Puerto Rico: 3 (1 gold, 2 silver)
5. ESA flag El Salvador: 3 (3 bronze)
6. CHI flag Chile: 1 (1 bronze)

A total of 30 medals (10 gold, 10 silver, 10 bronze) were handed out in Puerto Rico, with athletes representing six countries collecting them.