The first para archery titles were awarded in Monterrey as Mexico’s recurve open and compound open mixed teams secured gold medals on a sunny and warm Wednesday afternoon at the 2021 Parapan American Archery Championships.

Recurve open archers Samuel Molina and Kathia Valdez beat Heriberto Alves Roca and Fabiola Dergovics of Brazil in a shoot-off.

“I always say that if a competition doesn’t have any adrenaline, it’s not good, so we shot great, we enjoyed the event, it’s what we like and it was really exciting,” said Samuel. “It feels fantastic to shoot with an archer like Kathia, who’s growing her level”.

The duo, who previously shot together as a mixed team at an event in Cancun in 2018, took the first set, 31 to 29, and a two-point lead over the Brazilians. Their more southern opponents responded quickly and, taking advantage of a bad arrow from the hosts, won the second set.

The pairs traded the next two sets, tying the match four points apiece and forcing a shoot-off. Brazil scored an eight and seven; Mexico shot a nine and a six to take the win and celebrate victory.

“We’re really happy. We had a good competition against Brazil and we enjoy shooting together,” said Kathia.

Colombia, represented Wilmar Alzate and Monica Daza, finished with bronze.

Mexico’s second gold of the tournament came courtesy Omar Echeverria and Lia Sanchez in the compound open mixed team event.

The hosts again beat Brazilians Andrey de Castro and Anne Pacheco Xavier, this time by three points, 141-138.

“Every time you win, you feel good. Sometimes we have lost but today it was our time to win. This is thanks to the consistency and dedication we both put on everything we do”, said Omar.

“We’ve been working hard for quite a while now and today there where many things that worked out well and we won. My teammate has also been improving a lot.”

Javier Basualto and Mariana Zuniga of Chile completed the podium with a third-place playoff win over Colombia, 143-132.

Earlier in the day, during the early individual eliminations matches, the first quota places to this summer’s Paralympic Games were awarded.

With only Brazilian and Mexican archers remaining in the final four of the recurve men’s open event, those nations secured the two spots available in the category at this tournament in Monterrey.

The para archery competition will continue on Friday with the individual finals and the remainder of the qualification event for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.