Esebua wins Olympic ticket for Canada as Puerto Rico qualifies first archer since 1996

Kristina Esebua and Alondra Rivera at the Pan Am Olympic qualifier.

Former Georgian international Kristine Esebua beat teammate Virginie Chenier, 6-4, in the recurve women’s final to qualify Canada a quota place to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games at today’s continental qualifier in Medellin, Colombia.

Each country could only win a maximum of one spot in this event – so the second available ticket went to third-placed Alondra Rivera of Puerto Rico.

“I’m very content with the result. I worked really hard, in truth, and competed hard with my teammate,” said Rivera. “The emotion is high for such a huge result. I couldn’t ask for more.”

It is the first place the country has qualified for the Olympics since Maria Reyes competed at Atlanta 1996.

“Next is the Pan American Championships. Then I’ll keep working and hope to keep representing Puerto Rico abroad,” continued Rivera.

The 22-year-old also beat a teammate for her spot on the podium.

She and Nilka Cotto went to a tiebreak, both shoot-off arrows landing low left in the eight – but Rivera’s was measured just a millimetre closer to the centre of the target.

“I was so nervous. She’s an excellent archer as well. It was enough to win,” she said afterwards.

Competition continues at this Pan American qualifier for this summer’s Olympics with the finals of the quota tournament for the recurve men. Archers from El Salvador, the US Virgin Islands, Argentina, Bermuda and Cuba are shooting for two tickets.

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Podium: Recurve women

  1. Kristine Esebua, Canada (Olympic quota)
  2. Virginie Chenier, Canada
  3. Alondra Rivera, Puerto Rico (Olympic quota)