“I’d conquered gold years ago” – Marcus living up to medal potential

Marcus D'Almeida at Paris 2022 during his final fours match

It’s not been a month since Brazil’s Marcus D’Almeida won his first-ever Hyundai Archery World Cup stage.

His victory in the recurve men’s event at stage three in Paris in June came after he saw off two Korean archers in the final four.

Oh Jin Hyek was defeated in the semifinal and then Kim Je Deok in the final.

That second win brought Almeida’s first gold in 22 appearances at stages of the Hyundai Archery World Cup. He’d come close twice before, winning individual silver in the 2014 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final and silver in the mixed team event in Medellin at stage two that same year.

“I’m still very happy and very excited for this year’s season,” said the 24-year-old ahead of his return to Medellin this week for stage four of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup.

“After Paris, I returned to Brazil and returned to strong training. I just have to thank everyone who helped me reach the level in Paris and helped me with my victory. My trainer, physical therapist, massage therapist, physical trainer, psychologist, my family and my wife.”

Marcus’ gold in Paris came eight years after his last medal on the circuit. It was a long time to wait to top the podium.

Were there doubts it would ever happen? Not according to the archer who is based in the coastal Maricá municipality of Rio de Janeiro state.

“I always believed a lot in myself, I worked a lot,” said D'Almeida, who shoots for Dispara archery club. “In my mind, I had already conquered this gold years ago, it just needed to come true, I dreamed a lot about it. I was always believing in me, every day of my life.”

There are two images of D’Almeida in Paris, taken by World Archery photographer Dean Alberga, that stand out in giving an insight into the Brazilian recurve man.

The first shows the immediate emotion of his victory over Je Deok with a tie-break-winning 10 as he strides back to coach Alberto Zagami. The pure adrenaline pouring out of their bodies almost creates a visual barrier between the two.

“That’s one of the best moments of my life,” says D’Almeida when asked about his thoughts when looking at the photo. “This is what makes the athlete stay alive and want to win the next competition.”

Photo two is D’Almeida saluting his national flag from the top of the podium during the national anthem in Paris, shining a light onto his parallel career in the Brazilian military.

“I have been in the military for six years and it is a great pleasure to be part of the Brazilian air force,” says the Brazilian, who is a sergeant. “I always wanted to see my flag in the highest place, to hear my anthem and make the world hear the anthem of Brazil.”

Goal achieved. And with that gold in Paris, D’Almeida also booked a ticket through to the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Mexico this October.

A return to the season finale for the first time in eight years.

"That’s one of the coolest parts, knowing I’m there again and now I’m working hard to get there strong and get a good result for my country again,” he said.

With qualification for Tlaxcala in the bag, D’Almeida could be forgiven for taking the fourth stage a little bit easier. But now he’s had a taste of victory, that’s not going to be the case.

“Having this spot already for Mexico is important,” he says. “But it doesn’t change my desire to win in Colombia.”

Competition for Marcus in Medellin starts with recurve qualifying on Wednesday.