SANTIAGO – Kyle Tremblay of Deep River, Ont. will aim for bronze in the men’s compound open event in Para archery at the 2023 Parapan American Games.
Tremblay’s performance on Monday also assured Canada a quota spot for the men’s compound open for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, which was one of his big targets in Santiago.
‘’It’s an unbelievable feeling to have qualified that spot,” Tremblay said. ‘’It makes all my training I’ve done this past year worth it and puts everything into perspective on how hard you have to work for these types of things.”
The U.S. and Costa Rica had already locked up their quota spots before the Games, therefore the next two countries, Canada and Mexico, grabbed the two spots from these Games.
Tremblay, in his major Games debut, lost a dramatic semifinal match to Diego Quesada of Costa Rica on Monday under a bright sun and warm conditions. Both wheelchair players were deadlocked at 153 points after five rounds after a total of 15 shots apiece. The tie breaker in archery is cruel. Each player shoots once: the closest to the bulls-eye wins.
‘’That last arrow is just a matter of controlling your nerves, knowing your shot process without having to think about it and just stay focused on aiming,” said Tremblay, 32, a three-time world championship team member. ‘’Mine was just outside the 10-point mark, his was inside, so he clearly won.’’
On Sunday, Tremblay opened the tournament placing second in the ranking round. That allowed him to get a bye to the quarterfinals, held Monday morning. In the quarters he defeated Joffre Villavivencio of Ecuador 139-126.
The Ecuadorian put himself out of contention in the second round when he completely missed a target for zero points. At this level there is no margin for error.
‘’I was much happier with my second match,’’ said Tremblay. ‘’The match before was a little shaky so I just went back to basics and had a much better score.’’
The bronze medal match isn’t until Wednesday. Tremblay faces Victor Sardinia of Mexico, an amazing competitor who shoots with his feet. Kevin Polish of the U.S. faces Quesada for gold.
‘’I feel having a day in between will give myself time to settle down from the quota, settle down from what I just went through and refocus myself on my shot process, my mental thinking in high stress situations and prepare myself better for the match,’’ Tremblay said.
Para archery was previously at the 2011 and 2015 Parapan Ams and Canada reached the podium at both those Games.