D’Almeida secures first international win in double-Korean-upset
Brazil’s Marcus D’Almeida beat Oh Jin Hyek and Kim Je Deok in back-to-back matches to join Agu Utano of Japan as the recurves to book tickets to this year’s Hyundai Archery World Cup Final at the third stage of the international circuit in Paris, France.
D’Almeida has collected some big silver medals in his career – including his second at last year’s world championships. This is the first major win.
“I feel great,” said the visibly emotional man with the moustache. “In Korea, it was just a shoot-off that kept me out of the finals. We adjusted our aim over the last four weeks of work.”
“This is my moment. I am so proud of where I am.”
D’Almeida had a breakout season back in 2014. He was second at the Youth Olympic Games and that year’s Hyundai Archery World Cup Final. Pressure was heaped upon his shoulders ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games – and now, in 2022, his incredible promise has finally translated into a result.
In his last three matches in Paris, Marcus beat reigning Olympic Champion Mete Gazoz, the London 2012 Olympic Champion and the rising young star of the Korean squad.
And that final was fantastic. D’Almeida never got ahead but also never let his opponent run away with it.
A 10 to finish in regulation shut the door on a Je Deok win, forcing the tiebreak, in which Marcus calmly delivered a near-perfect arrow to beat his Korean opponent’s nine.
“It’s been intense. Now the aim is on Mexico,” he said, looking towards the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Tlaxcala in October.
Three of the eight matches during the recurve final four session in Chateau de Vincennes went to tiebreaks. Only one lasted less than five sets.
It was a drama-filled afternoon.
Utano again trailed – but shot back-to-back closing sets of 29 points to steal the win, 6-2.
“This was my first time in the finals and I didn’t want any regrets so I shot every arrow very carefully,” said the winner, grinning from ear to ear. “I don’t care about my opponent. I always smile and concentrate on myself.”
Paris was only Utano’s second appearance on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit after making her debut in Gwangju last month.
The silver is also Peng’s first individual medal at this level. And she won a gold medal this morning in Paris with the Chinese Taipei recurve women’s team, too.
Korea’s Choi Misun and Oh Jin Hyek took the bronze medals.
The Hyundai Archery World Cup continues next month with the fourth stage in Medellin, Colombia.