Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia reclaimed her title at the Pan American Games by bearing Khatuna Lorig of the USA in five sets, 7-3, to win recurve women’s gold at the 2019 edition of the continental multisport event in Lima, Peru.
Valencia previously held the title in 2011. Lorig won gold in Toronto in 2015.
“I feel good. It’s a match that I enjoyed a lot. I had a few mistakes, but the important thing is that I was able to recover from them and stayed focused,” said Valencia.
Tied after three sets, the 24-year-old Mexican archer shot a pair of 29s to pull ahead. Lorig couldn’t match the scores. Valencia celebrated her second Pan Am Games victory and the only Mexican gold medal in the archery competitions in Lima.
“Let’s pretend Toronto didn’t happen as I didn’t make the finals there [in 2015]. It’s been a good path. There have been many things in between, the Olympic Games, many things,” she said. “I’ve been shooting well. I shot well today and the results followed.”
Although happy with the individual win, Alejandra said something was missing in Lima.
“I feel we could have won as a team,” she said. “And there’s still the Olympic quota for the men. But it’s still not bad. Coming here and trusting myself again is what’s good.”
She averaged 29 points a set in the win.
“It definitely felt really fast compared to the other matches where they were a little bit drawn out,” said Casey. The 15-year-old also took gold medals in the mixed team and team events in Lima.
“I definitely feel honoured to be able to compete for my country – and to bring home three medals for them is even better. I’m definitely very grateful for that and proud to represent [the USA].”
There was one Olympic place available in the recurve women’s competition in Lima.
Mexico had already qualified a women’s space for Tokyo 2020 in the secondary tournament at the 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. The USA won its spot with mixed team gold at these Pan Am Games.
Ana Maria Rendon was the only archer left in the final four still eligible for a spot so the women’s place was awarded to Colombia.
The archery competitions at the 2019 Pan American Games take place on 6-11 August in Lima, Peru.