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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado - This past month, World Archery Americas (WAA) officially requested the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) include the compound bow and the mixed team events in the program of the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. USA Archery talked to WAA Secretary General Sergio Font about what prompted the request and what it could mean for the future of archery.
The proposal requested that while the recurve individual events remain at 32 men and 32 women, 32 male and 32 female compound archers would be added and that a mixed team event would be introduced for each class. The mixed team event would feature a maximum of one team per country, and the request also asked that two Olympic quota slots (one per gender) be awarded to the winning recurve mixed team's country.
Font shared that this is not the first time WAA has requested to add compound to the Pan Am Games: "We have been trying to include the Compound Bow for years, but it has not been easy. PASO has argued that since the Compound Bow is not in the Olympic Games, it cannot be included in the Pan Am Games program."
This time, however, the proposal may have much more support: "We have submitted lots of information to PASO as to how important compound archery is for the Americas. We have a number of World Cup and World Championships medalists in our continents. It is not just the U.S. anymore. We also have World Event medalists from Colombia, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and El Salvador. One third of the archers in the top 50 compound positions in the World Ranking come from the Americas."
For this request to be accepted and put into action, Font commented: "We need to wait for [PASO's] final decision. We have also asked our National Federations to contact their own NOCs to ask for their support in case the discussion on the Pan Am Games program involves the National Olympic Committees. We are very glad to see that several of our National Federations have contacted their NOCs and have received positive responses from them."
Earlier this summer, USA Archery spoke with World Archery Secretary General Tom Dielen about the eventual addition of compound to the Olympic Games (read part 1 and part 2 of the conversation). Font hopes that the addition of compound to the Pan Am Games would align with this goal: "World Archery is trying hard to get the compound bow included at the European Games as well. It is already part of the Asian Games schedule. I believe that the inclusion of the Compound bow in the major continental Games would be very positive in our pursuit to have the Compound bow in the Olympic Games."
Font also hopes that the inclusion of the mixed team events in the continental championship could also lead to it's eventual inclusion in the Olympic Games: "We want to include the mixed team in the Olympic Games for the recurve bow now, and of course if we are able to include the compound bow, we will try to have the compound mixed team as well."
To learn more, you can read the WAA bulletin with complete information on this request here.
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