Pinay archer Gotuaco tops US Nationals

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Bianca Roxas Chua Gotuaco CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Bianca Roxas Chua Gotuaco CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Young archer Bianca Roxas-Chua Gotuaco continued to build up confidence and momentum heading to the second Youth Olympic Games later this month in China, besting a tough field and ruling the 130th US National Target Championships at Joyce Park in Hamilton, Ohio recently.

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Gotuaco, one of the 13 Filipino archers who vied in the largest and premier ranking archery tournament in the US, dominated Taiwan’s Tsai Chia-Yun in the finals, 6-2, to annex the gold medal in the Recurve Junior Women event.

The victory augured well for Gotuaco’s buildup for the YOG set Aug. 16-28 in Nanjing where she, together with fellow archer Gabby Moreno, nailed outright berths after topping the YOG qualifiers in Taiwan last year.

“I am happy that a lot of hard work and focus helped a lot. I am happy that the Philippine team came and joined the US Nationals as well. It’s fun being with them,” said Gotuaco, who just turned 17 and topped the 18-20-year-old division.

Gotuaco, a gold medalist in the Palarong Pambansa, Batang Pinoy, Philippine National Games, placed second to California’s Anna Miscione (1244) in the Ranking Round with a 1202 after 144 arrows with Tsai finishing fifth with 1176.

She drew a bye in the Round of 64, routed Lee Woorin of California, 6-0, in the Last 32, edged Judy Zhu, also of California, 6-4, in the Round of 16, and barely got past Arizona’s Karissa Yamaguchi, 6-5 (9-8) in the quarters.

But she stamped her class over Elizabeth Caughell of Washington, 6-0, before thumping Tsai.

Teammate Andrea Orbeta, who placed No. 11 in the ranking round, dropped a 5-6 decision to Valerie Gerig of New York in the Round of 16.

“We are happy for Bianca because the US Nationals is the largest and most important archery tournament in the US. It is a mandatory event for all US archers who want to be ranked. There are 900 archers who took part in the event from various ages and divisions, including archers from Mexico, Colombia, Taipei and the Philippines,” said Bianca’s mom Sheree Gotuaco.

The younger Gotuaco, meanwhile, vies next in the Seoul Fiesta Invitational Tournament, along with the other Filipino junior archers, before joining the national team in the YOG.

The other Filipino archers who saw action in the US Nationals were Ian Chipeco, Joseph Vicencio, Earl Yap and Ferdinand Adriano in the Compound Men; Joann Tabañag, Abigail Tindugan and Ingrid Hernandez in Compound Women; Caitlin Ann Miciano in Compound Junior Women; Florante Matan and Carl Buenaventura in Recurve Men; and Stephanie Azarias in Recurve Women.

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