Román & Avitia Give Mexico Its First-Ever Olympic Medals in Archery

London Olympics 2012

Despite being thisclose to winning a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games, Aída Román has plenty of reason to be proud.

The 24-year-old Mexican archer had to settle for silver in women’s individual archery at the London Games on Thursday after losing a tense, sudden-death shoot-off against South Korea’s Ki Bo-bae.

Aída Román

After a disappointing fourth set at Lord’s Cricket Ground, Román rallied to take the fifth and force the decisive shoot-off. Ki shot first and hit an 8. Román matched it, but Ki’s arrow was closer to the center, giving her the victory.

“Strictly speaking, it wasn’t that difficult a shot,” said the two-time Olympian about the shot that cost her the gold, “but it became a lot more complicated.”

Aída Román & Mariana Avitia

But Román’s silver is still a remarkable feat for Mexico, a nation that had never won an Olympic medal in archery. And, Mexico now has two of them.

Roman was joined on the podium by her fellow countrywoman Mariana Avitia, who came from behind to beat American Khatuna Lorig in the bronze medal match.

Mariana Avitia

The 18-year-old Mexican archer beat the Lorig—the woman who taught Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence how to shoot the bow and arrow she used while portraying Katniss in the recent Hollywood blockbuster—6-2 in the bronze medal match.

Trailing 4-2 going into the fourth set, Lorig hit a 10 so perfectly centered that it hit the camera hole and bounced off the target. Avitia followed with a 7, and Lorig had an opening. She followed with an 8, and Avitia answered with a 9. But Lorig’s third arrow was a disastrous 6, giving the bronze to Avitia and denying Lorig a second medal in her fifth Olympics and 20 years after her first — a bronze in the team event at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.