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World Archery Championship: Lily Chanu causes major upset with win over Sara Lopez

Dhruv George
339   //    19 Oct 2017, 12:54 IST

Archery World Cup 2016 Stage 4 - Odense
Lily Chanu Paonam

What's the Story

At the World Archery Championship in Mexico City, India's Lily Chanu Paonam shocked World Number 12 player Sara Lopez. This huge upset occurred in the second round of the competition. Lopez scored just 140 points, well below her average, while Lily Chanu Paonam managed a score of 141.

In Case You Didn't Know

The Archery World Championship went ahead on schedule despite 2 devastating earthquakes that rocked the city. In the men's compound event, South Africa's Patrick Roux failed to build on an impressive qualification score yesterday. He posted his personal best international score over the 50-metres ranking round with 710 points during qualification to claim the 10th seed.

However, during today's action, he was beaten by Spain's Alberto Blazquez 147-146 in round two. The only unseeded man to out-shoot Roux in the qualifiers and not receive a bye today was Netherlands' Mike Schloesser. He was eliminated by compatriot Peter Elzinga, who scored 10 to Schloesser's nine in the shoot-off following a 145-145 tie.

The Heart of the Matter

Lopez has won numerous accolades in her career as an archer. Compared to her, Chanu Paonam has only won 3 major competitions, so Lily's feat is far more incredulous. Lily Chanu started archery in 2003 and made her international debut in 2012. Lopez said “Reo Wilde once told me, you can’t win every time. The ambitions I had to win these championships were so big, they beat me. Even if I accomplished most of the goals I had this year, this one just slipped away. But it’s good that it happened like this – because it gives me the chance to keep fighting for something.”

Including this win, Lily Chanu Paonam has a total of 16 wins and a win percentage of 46%. Lopez on the other hand has 87 wins with a win percentage of 84%. Neither player has been on the Olympic stage yet.

What Next?


Lily Chanu Paonam now advances into the round of 32 while Lopez is left to contemplate on her close loss. In the World Archery rankings, Lily is ranked 53rd while Lopez is seeded 12th. Lily's next opponent, Denmark's Tanja Jensen, who is ranked 9th, poses a completely different challenge for her altogether. Archery is a competition where accuracy matters, one millimeter could make all the difference in a game. As seen in the score, Lopez lost the match by a single point.

Sportskeeda's Take:

While it is amazing to see that Lily Chanu managed to cause such a huge upset, one must realise that there is still a long way for her to go in the competition, and the opponents will only get tougher from here on out. We wish Lily Chanu Paonam the very best of luck for the remainder of the competition.

Dhruv George
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