Canales to anchor Spanish squad in 2024 after Alvarino withdraws

Elia Canales at the European Games in 2023.

Recurve women’s world number seven Elia Canales is set to lead the Spanish squad through the early portion of the 2024 Hyundai Archery World Cup season, as the country looks to form a line-up that will convert its current individual Olympic quotas into team slots.

Pablo Acha, who sits 16th in the recurve men’s Sanlida World Archery Ranking, and Olympian Ines De Velasco are also on the squad – but the rest of the roster is less experienced.

“I sincerely believe that the fact different athletes come out every year is a very good sign that the work we are doing is good and that our performance as a team is not based on the results of a single athlete,” said head coach Elias Cuesta.

“I am very proud of the work that everyone has done. The fact that the teams are not finalised for the later events is going to make us work even harder.”

Spain has two chances to secure Olympic team quotas in 2024. The first is the European Championships in early May in Essen and the second is the final world qualifier, which will be held the weekend before the third stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya in June.

Both events are limited to three athletes per category. Spain will announce its line-up for the Europeans after the first stage of the international tour in Shanghai, and the final qualifier roster after stage two.

Canales and former recurve men’s world number one Miguel Alvarino secured Spain two individual quota places for Paris 2024 by winning the mixed team event at the European Games last summer.

Alvarino withdrew from this year’s trials in early March.

“This weekend I realised I need to preserve my mental health in front of the mental exhaustion I’ve been building up for a few years,” he wrote on Facebook. “I’m more human than I thought. Ten straight years on the national team; year after year, fighting against wind and wide, always under trial and pressure… they make a dent.”

“I owe it to myself to prioritise my health.”

Left-hander Canales, still just 22, consistently made the top 10 at international majors in 2023 and produced the first major individual result of her career when she finished second in Krakow-Malopolska, days after she and Alvarino secured those all-important Olympic tickets.

“Elia is a great leader for the team,” said coach Cuesta. “I am sure she will keep the rest of our squad motivated to face the huge season that awaits us.”

The Spanish recurve team is expected to compete at the Hyundai Archery World Cup season opener in Shanghai in late April.

Spanish recurve squad for 2024

*The archers scheduled to compete at the first two stages of the 2024 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Shanghai and Yecheon.

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