Philosophical D’Almeida strong in South American qualifying

Marcus D‘Almeida with local schoolchildren in Marica.

World number one Marcus D’Almeida has topped qualifying at the South American Championships, shooting 689 in his hometown of Marica – just outside Rio de Janeiro – to lead recurve men’s qualifying, 15 points clear of his nearest competitor.

Colombian Olympian Ana Maria Rendon (642) and Salvadoran duo Roberto Hernandez (708) and Sofia Paiz (696) also secured top individual seeds.

“The bow is about balance,” said a philosophical D’Almeida after the 72-arrow 70-metre round.

“It’s about keeping calm at the point of execution and dominating there, having tranquillity, balance during the shot. A lot of focus. Simply maintaining balance.”

The reigning Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion has been a fixture on the international podium for the last two years. He’s the favourite on home soil in Marica and, at this regional international, is drawing a similar spotlight to that the Brazilian team enjoyed eight years ago at the Olympics.

There’ll be plenty of attention on Marcus and the recurves in the lead-up to Paris 2024 – but El Salvador’s compounds fought for the spotlight today.

Hernandez, the former Pan Am Games Champion (winning when the discipline was introduced in 2019) has player-coached his way into a continental powerhouse.

El Salvador had the top two qualifiers in the compound men’s event – Hernandez (708) and Douglas Nolasco (707) – and the top three in the compound women’s competition, Paiz (696) leading Camila Alvarenga and Paola Corado (both 690).

“There’s a good level here in Brazil. I’ll strive to maintain it,” said Paiz.

These South American Championships are an open-entry world ranking event for the continent. (El Salvador is in North America.) Brazilian compounders Luccas Abreu (703) and Larissa Ferrari (681) will enter the closed regional eliminations, which run side-by-side, in pole positions.

Competition continues on Wednesday with eliminations in Marica.

Top seeds: 2024 South American Championships