Without a world medal heading into 2015, the European Games Champion added his second huge win of the year. Miguel Alvarino Garcia, winner of the first European Games in Baku in 2015, made true on the promise he made when he was interviewed during the Aquece Rio Olympic test event in September.
Garcia beat Lee Seungyun in the first round, in five, tough sets, then took another five in a slow dismantling of the USA’s Collin Klimitchek in the semis. The decider was the last, when the Spaniard dropped a final-arrow X to clinch the set and match by a point. It put the seventh seed, the lowest points qualifier for the World Cup Final, into a gold medal match against France’s Jean-Charles Valladont.
A final between two European archers, and the only two European archers in the recurve competition in Mexico City.
A low-scoring first three arrows handed Garcia the advantage, 27-26, and then the pair split the next two sets. In the second they both had 27 points and then 28 in the third. Miguel Alvarino Garcia, who had never taken an international medal before 2015, was two set points away from taking his second major gold of the year. Both started with a nine, then followed with a 10.
Valladont, shooting first, had a chance to keep his tournament alive, but put his arrow into the nine, leaving a single point gap for Garcia to take the match.
“‘Miguel, make it 10!’,” the European Games champ said he screamed to himself in his head.
It wasn’t just a 10. It was as close to the middle as you’d ever want in such a situation. X10 and a second hugely impressive crown in 2015 for Spain’s Miguel Alvarino Garcia.
“This is a dream come true. This is the first time Spain wins a title at an Archery World Cup Final, so winning it is amazing,” he said.
Korea’s Choi Misun beat Deepika Kumari in the gold medal match at the Mexico City 2015 Archery World Cup Final. She adds it to a list of accomplishments that includes a gold and silver medal at World Cup stages, silver at the Universiade, World Archery Championships bronze and gold at the Olympic test event.
She achieved all that in one year: 2015, her first international season. Misun was tested through her first two matches in Mexico City. Both the quarterfinal against host nation representative Alejandra Valencia and the semi, contested by the USA’s Mackenzie Brown, went a full five sets. But the Korean athlete was the top seeded recurve woman at the competition for a reason.
Overcoming rough sets in both matches, 19-year-old Misun found the middle when she needed it, clinching a path through the brackets in the last sets.
In the final, she hit the ground running. Reeling off three 29-point sets to quickly put her Indian opponent, Kumari, on the back foot, Choi was 5-1 up and in charge. Both archers put in a 29 in the last, split the set points, and Misun won gold, 6-4.
“I just become Archery World Cup Champion, another title that makes me the first in the world,” said the Korean, already ranked world number one after an incredible debut season. “This makes me happy and pretty sure it will help me to do even better as I would very much like to stay on top.”
Text and photos: World Archery