A junior Computer Engineering student bagged a bronze medal during the 2nd Seoul International Youth Archery held in Seoul City, South Korea last Aug. 3-9, 2014.
Marie Crizabelle D. Merto, together with the Philippine Women’s Team, placed third during the team event after defeating the Mexico Women’s Team.
The Philippine Women’s Team was composed of Merto, who is from the Silliman University Dumaguete Archery Club (SUDAC), and two archers from Manila: Bianca C. Gutaocu and Mary Queen J. Ybanez.
Merto, a four-time gold medalist in the Palarong Pambansa archery event, said that team event is more difficult than individual category.
“We came from different archery teams; that’s why it’s harder for us. I got to compete in the team event with my teammates from SUDAC and it’s a lot easier because we trained together. However, the three of us became good friends after the competition,” Merto said.
Crisaldo Merto, coach of SUDAC women’s team and Crizabelle’s father, said that their preparation was not enough because of time constraints.
“Crizabelle’s teammates were able to prepare more because the opening of their classes in their respective universities started in August, a week after the tournament,” Coach Merto said.
Coach Merto added that they are also thankful of the financial support of the university.
“The support of the university is 100%. They did their best to support us financially,” he said.
As the basis of the ranking for the Olympic round, Merto and the other archers competed on the qualifying round. During the qualifying round, the archers shot 72 arrows in 70 meters. Out of 54 contenders, Merto ranked 20.
However, Merto said that the pressures and the expectations of people affected her rank in the qualifying round.
“I don’t want to be always reminded that I should always be the number one. I just want to enjoy the sport. The problem is more of psychological rather than physical,” Merto said.
Merto added that she was not satisfied with her ranking. “For others, my score and rank [individual category] is okay but for me it’s not because I scored higher than that during my other competitions. I was just not confident and relaxed this time because I find it hard to balance school and sports.”
Although Merto was not satisfied with her ranking, she said that she is still happy and thankful for the experience and the opportunity of competing in an international competition.
“This is my first time to compete in an international [outdoor archery] event. I felt nervous, but still I am happy to represent the country,” Merto said.
During the Philippine National Games last summer, Merto, together with her younger sister, Crisha Mae, and Jonnalene Rae Clavano, senior student of Silliman University School of Basic Education, won first place.
Merto also competed in Singapore during the Indoor Archery Competition last year.
By Leslie Batallones