US teams qualify top with Olympic quotas at stake in Colombia

Casey Kaufhold at the target during qualifying in Medellin.

Pole position after qualifying for both the recurve men’s and women’s teams from the USA at the Pan American Championships in Medellin, where the winners will book full team quotas for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Brady Ellison’s 690 paced all recurve men over the morning session but, in winder conditions this afternoon, Casey Kaufhold was pipped to women’s individual pole by Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia.

Both archers shot 668 points – Valencia just had a higher X-count (16 to eight).

But in the team competition, Kaufhold, Catalina Gnoriega and Jennifer Mucino-Fernandez combined for 1965 and a 37-point lead over surprise second-seed Brazil, making the USA women firm favourites for the remainder of this week’s competition.

“It’s really awesome. We’ve all been working hard. We’ve just come straight from our Olympic trials to here so we’ve been doing a lot of tournament training, pressure training,” said Kaufhold.

“I think that helped us qualify first here.”

The Mexican women are the only team in the Americas already qualified for Paris having finished third at the last world championships. Should they win this event, the runner-up will then win the Olympic ticket.

The target line in Medellin.

“We’re going to go into it with the mindset that we need to win it,” said Kaufhold.

“You can’t step off the gas just because Mexico already has their spots. You have to go full throttle. We have to get first and that’s how we’ll get the best result.”

The recurve men’s team picture is clearer – whoever wins gets the Olympic quota – but tighter.

Ellison and the US only had a combined three-point lead over Canada, 2032 to 2029, while Mexico (2008), Colombia (2004) and Brazil (1990) all figure to pose a challenge to the bracket when competition continues on Thursday morning. 

Luccas Abreu (709) and Dafne Quintero (706) were the top qualifiers in the compound events.

Brazilain archer Abreu made his first international final four in this city last year at the Hyundai Archery World Cup stage in June, when he finished fourth.

Competition in Medellin continues with eliminations on Thursday.

Live coverage is available to watch worldwide with a subscription to archery+.

Top seeds: 2024 Pan Am Championships

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