SARA LOPEZ: JOB DONE
Sara José López Bueno didn’t put a foot wrong in Yankton, qualifying top, taking compound mixed and team golds for Colombia, and then winning the first individual senior world title of her career. She became the first archer to win all three gold medals available at a senior Worlds, not forgetting shooting a perfect 150-point match in the semifinals.
The senior World title was a glaring omission in her career. She had previously been to four World Championships but had somehow been denied gold, despite crushingly dominating her discipline for the majority of that time. “It was something on my list,” she said, “and now I can remove it and set new goals.” Quite the understatement.
Lopez’s almost unstoppable ability to win matches since she arrived on the scene in 2013 is extraordinary. She has been the star of one of the most successful national elite archery programmes of all time, producing a rolling generation of world-class Colombian archers. Wilful, headstrong and outspoken, Lopez has a defining lack of self-doubt when standing on the line at full draw. There are no questions, only answers, and a no-return approach to execution. Lke many of the very best, underneath the smiling champion lies a steely ruthlessness.
Since she took over seamlessly from Erika Jones as the dominant woman in her class, in the years that have followed her record of titles and wins, world records, World Cups, and stretches at number one is extraordinary and unmatched by any other compound archer. In 2019, she added the inaugural Pan-american Games title in what seemed like a forgone conclusion. She once won 31 matches in a row against all the top 10. She went unbeaten for an entire year. No one has a winning record against her. She has fully dominated her era. The world title – long deserved but never quite achieved – leaves nobody in any doubt that she is the greatest female compound archer of all time.