Danny Quintero of Colombia and Fabienne Estrada of Mexico have been crowned as the first-ever continental barebow champions at the 2021 Pan American Archery Championships in Monterrey, Mexico.
Previously only used in international field and 3D archery events, these championships are the first using the target archery discipline to include the bowstyle.
Second-seeded man Quintero beat Sebastian Sorribas of Uruguay in the semis, 7-1, to secure his ticket into the gold medal match. He then met local archer Roberto Escamilla, whom he dispatched in three sets, 6-0.
“It’s feels great, I have no words to describe it,” said a thrilled Quintero. “It’s amazing and I want to enjoy it because this is what I train for every day. It’s something I dedicate a lot of my time to, that I’m passionate about, that I enjoy – so this feels like harvesting the fruits of all that labour.”
A former recurve archer, Danny switched to barebow as he likes the combination of tradition in technique and technology in equipment.
The Colombian man had the measure of the wind and, unlike his struggling opponent, kept six out of his nine arrows of the final in the yellow rings over the 50-metre range. (Barebow archers shoot at the same target as recurves, measuring 122 centimetres in diameter.)
“I learned from the experience over the past few days. Wind made a huge impact on qualification day and today I knew I had to manage it better, read it properly and deliver my best shots,” he explained.
Uruguay’s Sebastian Sorribas collected bronze against top seed Manuel Leal of Mexico, who watched his wife celebrate gold on the other side of the field.
Fabienne Estrada fought against teammate Maria Mata for the top spot on the podium in the final. She won it in straight sets, 6-0. It was meaningful.
“I lost my mum 15 days ago. I couldn’t let it beat me. This title is for her, for my children and all women. We can do it all, there’s no barriers,” said an emotional Fabienne.
With over 10 years of experience in administrating the sport, Fabienne and husband Manuel started practicing barebow one-and-a-half years ago.
Shooting a major competition together was goal enough in Monterrey.
“I wanted to share this moment with my husband. We used to see pictures of barebow couples from Europe and think it would be great to have one and today we are here doing it, which is very important,” she added.
Visually impaired archer Catalina Reyes added yet another gold medal to Mexico’s tally.
The 67-year-old beat teammate Misael Ruiz, 6-2. Catalina was animated in her celebrations.
“I’m so happy. I worked hard for my teammates, blind or with low vision people, my family, my grandchildren. I wanted to prove everything is possible as my motto is there’s no age or disability,” she said.
The para archery competition will continue on Friday with the last individual matches, awarding continental champion titles and quota places for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.