PH archer places 4th in European Grand Prix

Andrea Lucia Robles, the Philippines’ top compound archer, finishes fourth at the European Grand Prix 1st leg in Lilleshall, Great Britain on Saturday (April 8, 2023). She lost to world No. 4 Lisell Jaatma of Estonia,138-145, in the bronze medal round. (Contributed photo)

The Philippines’ top compound archer, Andrea Lucia Robles, wound up fourth in the European Grand Prix – 1st leg at Lilleshall National Sports Center in Great Britain over the weekend but is proud of her performance against world-ranked opponents.

She lost to world No. 4 Lisell Jaatma of Estonia, 138-145, in the bronze medal match.

Earlier, she beat world No. 182 Jennifer Walter of Germany (140-136), No. 47 Sara Ret of Italy (139-138), and World Cup medalist Julia Boenhnke of Germany (142-134).

She missed out on a finals berth after bowing to world No. 1 Ella Gibson of Great Britain, 143-145, in the semifinal round.

Gibson is the reigning World Games and European champion.

Robles scored 678 points in the 72-arrow qualification round and was seeded 11th among 43 entries.

“Making it to the bronze medal match, I, of course, would have wanted to bring home the medal but I am very happy with what I accomplished,” the 24-year-old Robles said in an online interview with Radyo Pilipinas 2 on Monday.

She jumped from No. 197 to No. 103 in the world rankings for reaching the semifinal.

She noted that Gibson, Jaatma, Mariya Shkolna of Luxembourg (No. 13), Under-21 world record holder Andrea Muñoz of Spain (No. 16), Amanda Mlinaric of Croatia (No. 18), Isabelle Carpenter of Great Britain (No. 19), Sanne de Laat of the Netherlands (No. 25) and Meeri-Marita Paas of Estonia (No. 26) “are some of the best archers in the world and women that I look up to a lot so I am very happy to have made a good standing amongst them.”

Playing against world-class athletes, Robles observed their mental toughness as they are used to high-level competitions.

“The most challenging part of it all is the mental side. We really lack a lot of exposure in terms of competing internationally. These high-performing shooters have all been going out on a great number of tournaments and have many more coming up for them this year such as the World Cup in Antalya, World Cup in Shanghai, World Championships in Berlin, European Grand Prix in Croatia, World Cup in Medellin, and more. This is what gives them an edge among the rest,” she shared.

She is not going to the World Cup next week due to lack of funding, but will join the Philippine Archery Cup third leg slated in Marikina City on May 3 to 7 and hopefully, the Asia Cup in Singapore in June.

She was bronze medalist in the Philippine Archery Cup first leg and gold medalist in the second leg.

She said Gibson’s coach commended her shooting and consistency, which she knows she can improve further with more exposure and experience in high-level tournaments.

“Majority of my trips are 100-percent self-funded. I consider myself very lucky to have the resources to be able to join these tournaments. I need to join to improve both my performance and my world ranking,” said Robles, a Management graduate of Ateneo de Manila University.

Robles holds the distinction of being the first Filipino to win at the Indoor Archery World Series, which she achieved in Macau, China in 2019. (PNA)