Coach Vélez Sánchez and the Rise of Mexican Archery

Mexico's men's archery team faces a tense battle for Olympic spots. Coach David Alejandro Vélez Sánchez leads them with an unconventional edge, aiming to secure their place in Paris 2024. The team has their work cut out for them, but they have the talent and the support to make history.

Coach Vélez Sánchez and the Rise of Mexican Archery
David Alejandro Vélez, coach of the men's archery branch. Credit: CONADE

Twang! The arrow flies, a fleeting shadow streaking towards its destiny. In that suspended moment, etched against the backdrop of Mexico's National Center for the Development of Sports Talents and High Performance (CNAR), the dreams of a nation hang by a thread.

Twelve archers, the sculpted silhouettes of potential Olympians, stand poised. They are engaged in a five-day battle of will, skill, and nerves to determine who will represent Mexico in the hallowed archery grounds of Paris 2024.

“It's a crucible,” explains David Alejandro Vélez Sánchez, coach of the men's team. “Sure, there's the artistry of archery, but make no mistake – this is a high-wire act of emotions as much as form. We'll have uncertainty, heartbreak, and if we're lucky…triumph.”

A Nation Ascendant

Mexico has been steadily building its reputation as an archery powerhouse. Coach Vélez Sánchez isn't boasting when he talks about climbing the world rankings. The goal for the men's team is audacious: secure those final two Olympic spots still enticingly unreachable.

The women's team, having blazed the trail at the Berlin World Championships, will be in Paris. But the men are under pressure. Matías Grande Kalionchiz, their linchpin, secured his place at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. There's an almost painful awareness of the clock ticking – three chances remain: the Medellín Continental Championship, the World Cup’s last stand in Turkey, and a nail-biting final option – sneaking in via the world rankings.

“It will be a team effort,” Vélez Sánchez emphasizes. “It's the synergy, the archers having each other's backs, that will see us through. We've got two rock-solids in Matías and Javier [Rojas], now it's honing that third spot… getting them to perform in unison.”

The CNAR Crucible

Back at the CNAR, the air is thick with concentration. This isn't just a training ground; it's a forge where hopes are tempered. Coach Vélez Sánchez knows this intimately. “Here, we have everything we need. Top-tier facilities, yes, but it's our specialists. They keep us sharp, focused…it echoes the support we have from CONADE. Their commitment is our fuel.”

In the world of elite sports, that sense of a nation holding its breath behind its athletes is a heavy mantle. But archery is a union of the individual and the collective. As those arrows slice through the air, Mexico will see itself in the flight path — the soaring dream, the grit, and perhaps the touch of fate needed for Olympic glory.