Gaby Bayardo has secured the first place in the semifinals of the Lockdown Knockout after defeating the USA’s Casey Kaufhold in a shoot-off. Their match was the first of this remote tournament for recurve archers.
“I’m pretty excited and I’m pretty excited that I’m still in this competition,” said Gaby.
“I was nervous because Casey and I compete a lot against each other and it’s always either Casey or me, it just depends who is better on the day, so I knew it was going to be a tough match.”
It was a meeting of two archers who had climbed the podium at major continental events in 2019. Bayardo was the bronze medallist at the European Games in Minsk, Kaufhold the bronze medallist at the Pan American Games in Lima.
Both had secured Olympic quota places for their nations in the process.
Kaufhold lost the first set of this remote quarterfinal but rallied fast in the second to draw the match level. As many times as Bayardo edged ahead over the following sets, her 16-year-old opponent countered and caught up.
The repeated rallies gave the Dutch archer two opportunities to try out a unique rule being debuted during this contest.
The top spot on the triangular face that is being used in the competition has an additional white circle, positioned low in the eight and seven rings. It’s worth 12 points – and measures just 15mm across – but archers have to declare their intention to shoot at it.
Gaby’s first attempt in the third end went high, while her second try in the fifth landed low.
“It’s kinda difficult because you can’t really see it. So you have to guess where to aim. It doesn’t go good always,” she said afterwards.
“If it’s necessary, I’ll [shoot] it. I just hope that next time I hit it.”
Kaufhold shot her second perfect 30-point set of the match in the last set of regulation, forcing the shoot-off. She then pushed her tiebreak arrow high in the nine, grimaced as it landed, and left the door open for her opponent.
Gaby Bayardo, the former Olympian for Mexico who now lives in and represents the Netherlands, shot a clean 10 to take the match.
It booked her a place in the Lockdown Knockout semifinals and eliminates Casey Kaufhold from the competition.
“It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed getting back the competition spirit again. It was very cool to have this experience and it was definitely enjoyable,” said Kaufhold.
Gaby will face either Aida Roman, her former Mexican teammate and the London 2012 Olympic silver medallist, or Turkish archer and reigning European Champion Yasemin Anagoz in the next round. Their quarterfinal match will be decided on 14 June.
The Lockdown Knockout is archery’s first remote invitational tournament, with a prize of 1000 CHF going to the winner.
The recurve event runs until 21 June and is being streamed live across World Archery’s digital platforms.