Paola Corado upsets Toja Ellison for first international win

El Salvador's Paola Corado celebrates winning compound gold at the Veronica's Cup 2022

El Salvadorian 19-year-old Paola Corado upset the world rankings and recent form as she defeated Toja Ellison in the compound women’s final to take her first international win at the 2022 Veronica’s Cup world ranking event in Kamnik, Slovenia.

Corado was joined by David PasqualucciLouisa Piper and Viktor Orosz as individual winners, while the host nation took all but one of the six senior team titles on offer.

Ranked 110 in the world before the event, Corado sat 105 places below Ellison, who has been enjoying blistering-hot form in 2022. After reaching the final, Corado had been philosophical about her chances of gold against the world number five.

“I want to do as best as possible and I believe that I can win,” she said on Saturday. “I’m just going to work arrow by arrow until it ends and whatever it is, I’m just going to be happy with it.”

She quickly threw the form book out of the window, opening better – 29-28 – and following that up with a perfect 30 to open a two-point lead against the host nation’s archer going into the third (59-57). Ellison would only go on to shoot one perfect end as Corado kept in front. She needed just an eight to win with her last arrow – and that’s what she delivered to take gold, 144-143.

Ellison would end the competition with a win, though, securing the compound mixed team title with Aljaz Brenk as they beat Austria 157-150, dropping just three points in a dominant performance.

“I did a lot of things very good this weekend,” said Ellison in an Instagram post after the event. “The changes that I made two days before the tournament brought some very good results and I will continue working on making them feel like home. Today during the mixed team match I shot awesome… my individual match didn’t go as planned at all… but even though I didn’t manage to finish the tournament on top I am determined to keep working.”

Viktor Orosz after winning Veronica's Cup 2022 gold

Viktor Orosz battled a big flinch on his final arrow to secure a shoot-off in the compound men’s final against local and world number 42, Stas Modic.

The Hungarian, intensely aiming at full draw, jumped, readjusted and reset – to deliver an impressive perfect last arrow, ensuring the match ended at 145 points apiece and forcing a shoot-off with Modic for the win. Orosz shot closer to the centre and took an unlikely victory.

Orosz was the under-18 world champion back in 2015 and twice won the youth category at the world indoor championships.

He’s long been tipped to make the leap to the senior podium.

“It feels kind of strange, but it’s a good feeling,” he said. “I have been in many finals years back, but I have had a small ‘bump’ in my career, let’s say. It feels really good to be kind of back. It was hard to get to this shape because I’m doing my masters in engineering and trying to do archery, too."

“It’s really hard doing all this stuff, which requires a whole person each, but I think it’s starting to get back into shape.”

David Pasqualucci and Louisa Piper won the recurve men’s and women’s titles with ease. Italian Olympian Pasqualucci – who recently picked up a team silver medal at the Hyundai Archery World Cup season opener in Antalya – saw off another local threat, Miha Rozic, while Piper defeated Austria’s Elisabeth Straka, both in straight sets.

The Veronica’s Cup was one of two world ranking events to take place in Europe over the weekend. The Bulgarian city of Plovdiv also hosted a continental Grand Prix, which finished on Saturday.  

Champions: Veronica’s Cup 2022

  • Recurve men: David Pasqualucci, Italy
  • Recurve women:  Louisa Piper, Great Britain
  • Compound men: Viktor Orosz, Hungary
  • Compound women: Paola Corado, El Salvador
  • Recurve men team: Slovenia
  • Recurve women team: Slovenia
  • Recurve mixed team: Slovenia
  • Compound men team: Slovenia
  • Compound women team: Iceland
  • Compound mixed team: Slovenia

Medal table: Veronica’s Cup 2022

1. SLO flag Slovenia: 8 (5 gold, 3 silver)
2. GBR flag Great Britain: 3 (1 gold, 2 bronze)
3. ISL flag Iceland: 2 (1 gold, 1 bronze)
=4. ESA flag El Salvador: 1 (1 gold) 
=4. HUN flag Hungary: 1 (1 gold) 
=4. ITA flag Italy: 1 (1 gold)

A total of 28 medals (18 gold, 17 silver, 17 bronze) were collected by athletes representing 22 countries and private clubs across senior and youth events in Kamnik.