Round-up: History-making Lopez claims remarkable 8th Hyundai Archery World Cup Final victory
The Hyundai Archery World Cup Final saw a mixture of new and previous champions crowned on a dramatic conclusion to the campaign in Hermosillo.
Sara Lopez continued her dominance of the compound women’s discipline, claiming a remarkable eighth World Cup Final victory, while Mathias Fullerton landed his maiden compound men’s success by overcoming Prathamesh Samadhan Jawkar in a shoot-off.
Also topping a World Cup Final podium for the first time was Marcus D’Almeida, who finally upgraded the silver he claimed nine years ago in the recurve men’s event.
Seven countries were among the medals in total, with Korea claiming three and India, Denmark and Mexico two apiece.
The GOAT, no question. Sara Lopez is the greatest of all time, winning a record eighth World Cup Final Champion title within 10 years. After winning the international circuit in 2014 at only her second attempt – she finished fifth at Paris 2013 – and then in 2015. Qualified for the 2016 edition in Odense, Denmark, Lopez withdrew just days before due to personal reasons. But after she returned to competition, the Colombian superstar has remained unbeaten at the end-of-season event since Rome 2017. This makes it not only eighth overall and six in a row. There seem to be no words left to describe such an exceptional athlete.
Fullerton and Jawkar show future is bright. The compound men’s final pitted two talented 20-year-olds against one another and went down to the wire. A perfect 150 in the semifinal against Abhishek Verma guaranteed Fullerton a first World Cup medal of the season and Verma’s compatriot Jawkar lay in wait in the gold medal match. With the scores locked at 148-148, Fullerton chose the perfect time for a perfect shot in the shoot-off to claim a gold he grew up dreaming of. He took to Instagram afterwards to warn his rivals “this is just the start” – and the rivalry between the two young stars is certainly one to watch in seasons to come.
Korea tune up strongly for Asian Games. Korea has been the overwhelmingly dominant nation at the Asian Games since its inception, winning 42 of the 60 archery golds on offer. The form of its archers over the 2023 World Cup campaign will give the squad confidence when they arrive in Hangzhou later this month, and a medal of each colour was earned in Hermosillo courtesy of Kang, Lee and Lim Sihyeon, who took bronze to add to her two stage golds earlier in the season. India’s 17 medals across the World Cup season will give it hope of challenging Korea’s hegemony, while Chinese Taipei and hosts China will also be strong, but Korea remains the nation to beat.
World number one’s most significant victory yet. Marcus D’Almeida announced himself on the World Cup Final stage with a remarkable silver aged just 16 in 2014. But in the nine intervening years, gold on the global stage has eluded him, with World Championship silver in 2021 the closest he has come. This season, however, the Brazilian has found a ruthless edge. He claimed gold in Shanghai and bronze in Paris, also earning bronze at the World Championships in Berlin, but saved his best until last. Up against familiar foe Lee Woo Seok, who beat him in the semifinal in Paris and the 2014 Youth Olympic final, the 25-year-old turned the tables with a 6-4 success to finally end his wait for a landmark world title. It should be the first of many.