Stage 4 of the Archery World Cup took place in Medellin, Colombia, at the end of July
ATASCADERO — Things came full circle for local archer Bella Otter when she represented Team USA at Stage 4 of the Archery World Cup in Medellin, Colombia. The competition took place from Monday, July 18, to Sunday, July 24, with Otter competing on the 19th thru the 21st. Otter also competed at Stage 3 of the World Cup in France in June.
“I was basically back with the team again, which was super fun. It was awesome to see them following up right after France,” stated Otter.
The competition officially kicked off for Otter on Tuesday, July 19, with the qualifier rounds. Her goal in Colombia was to beat her qualification ranking in France.
“I am super stoked that I was able to improve on my qualification score from France, which was definitely a big goal of mine. I just wanted to be executing shots that felt really good,” added Otter. “Overall, I went from originally qualifying like 47th in France to 28th in Colombia. So that was cool. That was awesome.”
While in Colombia, Otter qualified high enough that she was able to participate in the team rounds for the USA Women’s Team alongside Makenna Proctor and Linda Ochoa-Anderson. It was Ochoa-Anderson’s final time competing in a World Cup.
“It was totally super amazing, and I felt super grateful and super honored to be able to actually be on a team with her [Ochoa-Anderson] and be competing alongside her after having such an amazing career and whatnot and being able to top it off with her little finale and everything,” continued Otter.
This was Otter’s first time competing in a team round at a World Cup, as she just missed the opportunity while in France. She added that Ochoa-Anderson and Proctor were amazingly helpful to her during the team rounds.
“[They, the team rounds] were so fun. Definitely, for me, the most fun part of the week,” Otter said.
The three ladies on Team USA won their first match against Ecuador, but when they went up against Mexico in their second round, Team USA ended up losing by a couple of points.
“We had one victory in there, and we worked really well as a team,” said Otter.
The next day, Thursday, July 21, Otter moved on to the individual matches, where she had her first ever World Cup Elimination Round win.
“My first match was against a girl from Brazil. I did end up winning that one which was really cool. That was another goal going into this, improving my qualification score and then looking at eliminations and everything, just trying to work my way and weave my way through some match wins,” stated Otter. “While I was so happy to actually win my first match and everything and be executing some good shots and what not, it put me in a bracket where the next person that I moved on to compete with head-to-head was a Colombian archer named Sara Lopez.”
Lopez is known as one of the best female archers of all time. She’s also the only archer to win the entire Archery World Cup six times. Not only that, but Lopez has broken many other world records and broke another at the Colombia tournament while Otter was there. Lopez has also spent the most time ranked as the No. 1 archer in the history of World Cups.
“She [Lopez] was the very first professional name that I ever knew and that I ever idolized at 13,” continued Otter.
Otter also stated that Lopez and her career were a huge inspiration to her when Otter was starting out in archery.
“When I found out, when I realized that my next elimination match was literally going head-to-head with her, with the Sara Lopez, it was this crazy full circle moment of like ‘look where I am’ kind of thing,” she said. “At 13, I was just shooting in our local archery shop with some little bow and had no idea that any of this could even could happen.”
Otter went into the round strong and excited to demonstrate for Lopez and her younger self how far she’s come and how to execute a shot to be proud of. While Otter did just that and put up some good scores, she ended up losing the match to her childhood favorite at the end of the round, bringing her competition time at the Stage 4 World Cup to a close.
“I’m definitely excited. I’m super excited that this feels like it’s only the beginning,” concluded Otter.