Ella Gibson downs reigning champ Lopez for World Games gold

Ella Gibson celebrates winning the World Games in 2022.

Number nine seed Ella Gibson beat reigning title-holder and world number one Sara Lopez to win compound women’s gold at the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

“It feels amazing,” said the current world number two, who before the event, was just 3.5 points behind Lopez in the world rankings.

“It was definitely some hard work but I knew it was going to be hard. I was just trying to focus on myself and I figured, if I win or lose, it will be what it will be, I am going to shoot how I shoot.”

Gibson’s 148-142 win in the final came after two perfect opening ends that put her 60-59 ahead. An uncharacteristic 27 points in the third from the reigning champion provided an opportunity for double 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup stage winner Gibson to pull further ahead (88-86).

“I had one really nervy end with 28. It was not the nicest but the others were really good,” added Gibson. “I felt like I had a really nice flow – much more compared to my previous match.”

The Brit ended with two more perfect 30s to seal the title, 148-142.

Lopez admitted earlier this week she had suffered from heat stroke recently and was concentrating on winning mixed team gold for Colombia in Alabama with her teammate Daniel Munoz.

“I do not know what happened,” said Lopez about those ends of 27. “My coach told me I was not looking good. In my mind, I was shooting well but I was not. Sometimes you do not realise that and somebody has to tell you that.”

Lopez will shoot in the mixed team final later this afternoon.

“I have time to correct those mistakes,” said Lopez, Iooking back to her earlier win in the arena. “I will keep the semifinal in my mind as the motivation.”

That semifinal had seen a rematch of the final from 2017, with Lopez seeing off USA-based Slovenian archer Toja Ellison, 148-143.

Ellison then faced the host nation’s Paige Pearce for bronze and the home fans were not disappointed. Pearce used the additional fire generated by competing on home soil to down third seed Ellison, 148-145, for a podium spot.

“It feels awesome,” said the world number 26. “To be on my home soil in the USA and to be able to reach a medal and stand on the podium is pretty amazing.”

“Going into the bronze medal match you know it’s do-or-die and I was more determined to end with a win after losing my semifinal,” added the 27-year-old, who lost a tiebreak to Gibson in the semis. 

“The only thing you can control is yourself and your shooting. That was my game plan. I stuck to it and it worked.”

Competition at the World Games continues on Saturday with the compound men’s final four.

Podium: 2022 World Games

Check full results on the World Archery website.

Compound women

  1. Ella Gibson, Great Britain
  2. Sara Lopez, Colombia
  3. Paige Pearce, USA