Recurve women from Brazil, Canada and Ecuador, and recurve men from Colombia, Chile and Mexico secured quota places for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Americas’ qualification tournament on Friday afternoon in Monterrey.
There were six spots, for three women and three men, available in total.
The day’s events started at the quarterfinals. In the women’s division, six nations were left to dispute the places. In the men’s, five – which meant both categories could be decided in the quarters or in the semis.
It was the first scenario.
Brazil’s Ane Marcelle Dos Santos was the first woman to celebrate a win. She beat Florencia Leithold in a single arrow shoot-off, nine to seven. But she had to wait for the quota to be confirmed.
Ecuador’s Adriana Espinosa then moved into the semis after outscoring Bolivia’s Mayte Paredes in five sets, 7-3.
It was then that the third and decisive match happened: Tania Edwards of Canada versus Stefany Jerez of Dominican Republic. If Tania was the winner, then Brazil and Ecuador would be officially qualified for the Olympic Games, but if it was the alternative outcome, they needed to wait until the fourth match.
(The fourth quarterfinal was between Brazil and Canada – meaning potentially no fourth country to contest the quotas.)
Tania took the match 7-1 and consequently, the quota place for Canada.
Dos Santos and Espinosa didn’t immediately understand the gravity of the result but, as soon as they found out, jumped, laughed and spent tears.
“I’m very happy, very proud. It has been many years of training to be here today and win the place,” said Ane. “I started my matches very nervous, but I got over it because I came here to win that place for Brazil, I trained and sacrificed myself to be here and win it.”
“I’m very proud to be here, win that Olympic place and leave with a gold medal.”
The 27-year-old Olympian from Rio then beat Espinosa in the semis and Stephanie Barrett in the final to take gold in the qualification tournament. Tania secured bronze.
Though Ecuador won a place, Adriana still needs to reach the minimum qualification score before the Olympics to fulfil the spot.
In the men’s event, archers from Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico and the US Virgin Islands entered the quarterfinals. Colombia and Chile each had two representatives.
Both Colombian archers won their matches – and it decided things early.
“Getting the job done, it’s what us, Colombians, came to do here, to leave the name of our country at the top. We did an excellent job and it was due to an excellent preparation. I’m honestly very happy to give this joy to my country,” said Jorge Enriquez of Colombia, who went on to take gold in the qualification tournament.
Andres Aguilar finished second and Luis Alvarez was third.
OLYMPIC QUOTA PLACES FROM THE AMERICAS
– Brazil: 2 (1 man, 1 woman)
– Canada: 2 (1 man, 1 woman)
– Colombia: 2 (1 man, 1woman)
– Mexico: 2 (1 man, 1 woman)
– USA: 2 (1 man, 1 woman)
– Ecuador 1 (1 woman)
– Chile 1 (1 man)