Abbotsford’s Mariessa Pinto earned silver in the women’s recurve division at the recent Online Cup of the Americas archery event, which wrapped up on Thursday (Oct. 15).
Pinto fell 7-1 to Maira Sepúlveda of Columbia to take home second place, with Mexico’s Valentina Vazquez earning bronze.
Due to COVID-19 travel and competition restrictions, the event was competed on a virtual format with archers battling it out on Facebook Live.
“What an exciting week it has been for our Women’s program,” stated Canadian Team National Coach Shawn Riggs. “Pinto’s second place is a solid finish. Both archers took the competition as an opportunity to test what they had been working on throughout the season, which was important to see. In a season with little opportunity for competition, this was a novel way to give archers a chance to test themselves.”
Pinto had defeated Argentina’s Florence Leithold in the semifinal and beat fellow Canadian Stephanie Barrett in the quarter-finals.
The 22-year-old made headlines back in October after she was named one of 55 Canadian young athletes selected by Petro-Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee to receive a Fuelling Athletes and Coaching Excellence (FACE) program grant of $10,000.
Pinto, 21, began in the sport of archery at the age of nine, and started her international career at the Pan-Am Championships in 2018.
She finished 17th in the individual recurve competition at that event and became eligible to compete there after a ninth-place finish at the Pan American Games’ primary qualification tournament in Columbia.
She was ranked the number one junior women’s recurve archer in Canada and a top-three-ranked senior women’s archer in 2018.
She also placed seventh individually and won bronze as part of the Team Canada women’s recurve team at the 2019 Pan American World Ranking event.
Pinto currently lives in Abbotsford, while balancing training, a part-time job and full-time post-secondary studies at Simon Fraser University.