Marcus D’Almeida and Ana Vazquez romp to Pan American gold
Marcus D’Almeida’s rapid rise continued as he upgraded silver to gold at the Pan American Championships in Santiago, Chile.
Having settled for second in Monterrey a year ago, the 24-year-old beat Cuba’s Hugo Franco 7-3 to take top step in the recurve men’s competition.
It was a triumphant final chapter in a memorable season for D’Almeida, who took a landmark gold medal on the Paris leg of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in June.
The final act of a brilliant week for the Mexican recurve squad, Matias Grande outshot Jorge Enriquez of Colombia by a single arrow, 27-26 in the deciding set, to snag bronze.
On the women’s side Ana Vazquez came back from behind to claim gold, her first major individual triumph, in a hotly-contested final with Ane Marcelle dos Santos of Brazil. Dos Santos led 4-2 through three sets but Vazquez surged back, winning the next two sets 28-24 to clinch a memorable victory.
The Tokyo Olympian credited a change of mindset for the comeback.
“I had been having some problems shooting by myself,” she said. “I was feeling overloaded with energy, adrenaline and I didn’t know how to get it under control and that’s just what I was telling my coach.”
“After the first two sets, I remembered certain things that because of the adrenaline or the excitement I hadn’t contemplated, and I started to do them and I started to shoot a tighter group.”
On her plans for 2023, Vazquez said: “Next year is a very tough year. It is a year full of competitions and that is very good, but it is going to be a very tiring year.”
“It’s a year with a lot of pressure, so for next year I plan to train in an intelligent way and to go to the competitions in an intelligent way.”
USA’s Casey Kaufhold, 18, won bronze on her Pan American Championship debut.
Having gone down 7-3 to Vazquez in the semifinal, the teenager overwhelmed Canadian Eleanor Brug 7-1 to secure a podium place.
After taking men’s and women’s team gold on Saturday, Mexico achieved a clean sweep of team titles with mixed team victory.
Individual silver medallist Grande, paired with Alejandra Valencia, had far too much for USA’s Kaufhold and Matthew Requa, triumphing 6-0 in the final.
The Mexican pair only dropped one set on route to top step, against Brazil in the semifinal.
“We are very happy as a team, we are working very well, there is good communication and above all very good teamwork,” Matias said.
Bronze went to Brazilians Dos Santos and D’Almeida, who claimed a 6-0 win over Cuba’s Franco and Elizabeth Rodriguez.
All competitions at the Pan American Championships thus concluded in Santiago, Chile.