The 2021 Hyundai World Archery Championships were held in Yankton, South Dakota, on September 20-26. 53 countries were present with 336 archers
The Americas were represented by Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, the US Virgin Islands, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, and the United States.
Four national federations of our continent won medals. This is the second largest number in World Championships history, after Torino 2011 where the United States, Canada, Chile, Mexico and Venezuela were decorated.
The qualification round did not render high scores due to the gusty winds that blew all over the competition field. Six of our archers managed to rank in the top three in their respective categories: Sara Lopez (COL-CW-1st), Marcus D’Almeida (BRA-RM-2nd), Alejandra Valencia (MEX-RW-2nd), Brady Ellison (USA-RM-3rd), Christopher Perkins (CAN-CM-3rd), and Alejandra Usquiano (COL-CW-3rd).
All team finals were held on Friday Sept. 24th.
Colombia delivered fabulous performances that allowed them to win the gold medals in the compound women and compound mixed teams. The best compound archer in history, Sara Lopez, played a decisive role in both teams, accompanied by Alejandra Usquiano and Nora Valdez (women), and Daniel Muñoz (mixed).
The United States won the compound men team round, while their compound women took the bronze.
Mexico fielded a very young compound men team, but, despite being the 15th seed, they won consecutive matches versus Spain, Germany, Great Britain and the Netherlands to reach the big final where they were stopped by the Americans.
Congratulations to Guatemala on their 6th and 8th positions in the compound men and compound mixed team events.
Just as they did at the Olympic Games, Korea swept the recurve team finals, with the USA and Mexico winning silver in the men and women events respectively. A pleasant surprise was delivered by the Brazilian women team, who ended up 4th after beating Canada, Russia, and Italy.
The individual compound finals took place on Sept. 25th.
Sara Lopez claimed the only title she had never won before. She is an individual World Champion now. She defeated India’s Jyothi Vennam for the gold. Andrea Becerra (MEX) performed at a very high level to deserve the bronze medal.
There were no archers from the Americas in the top four in the compound men’s finals.
Austria’s Nico Wiener upset Mike Schloesser from the Netherlands (the most successful compound archer in the last few years) 146 to 143 to win the crown. Robin Jaatma from Estonia anchored in the third position.
Miguel Becerra (MEX) and 2011 World Champion Christopher Perkins (CAN) ranked 7th and 8th.
On Sunday Sept. 26th the individual recurve finals were staged.
Two archers from the Americas made it to the ladies’ semifinals. Casey Kaufhold (USA) shot superb scores to defeat the Tokyo Olympic Champion An San (KOR) 6-2 to reach the gold match.
She faced another Korean, Jang Minhee, for the title but could not keep the level shown in the semis and lost 0-6. Casey’s silver medal was the first individual medal won by a recurve woman from the USA after Denise Parker’s bronze at the 1989 World Championships in Lausanne.
Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia shot 28, 29, 29, 28 and 29 in the bronze match, but these close-to-perfect scores did not suffice to beat the Olympic Champion who delivered 26, 29, 30, 28, 30. A fourth place for the Mexican.
Four of the best archers in the world qualified for the recurve men semi-finals.
The 2011 and 2015 World Champion Kim Woojin (KOR) faced the 2021 Olympic Champion Mete Gazoz (TUR). The match ended with a 6-4 win for the Korean.
On the other side of the brackets, World Champion Brady Ellison (USA) and Brazil’s Marcus D’Almeida battled for the second ticket to the gold match. Brady was in the lead 4-2 after the third set, but the South American shot 29 and 28 in sets 4 and 5 to claim a 6-4 victory.
In the bronze match Ellison won two of the sets and tied two. This was enough for a 6-2 win over the Olympic Champion Gazoz.
After losing the first two sets, D’Almeida managed to score three points in sets 3 and 4 but was finally outshot by Kim in set number 5. A great performance by the Brazilian, who won the first individual medal for his country in the history of the World Championships.