By Mike Gardner | July 18, 2015, 5:07 p.m. (ET)
Khatuna Lorig shoots an arrow during the archery competition for the bronze medal against Venezuela at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto on July 17, 2015.


TORONTO -- Khatuna Lorig won her first Pan American Games gold medal of her storied career when she defeated Ana Maria Rendon, 6-2, in the women’s individual archery competition Saturday in Toronto.

Khatuna Lorig poses with her gold medal in women's individual
archery at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games on July 18, 2015
in Toronto.

For Lorig, the win gives her confidence in preparing for the world championships that start later this month, where she will vie for both a world medal and Olympic quota spots for her country.

Next year’s Rio Games would be the sixth Olympics for the 41-year-old Lorig, who has represented three nations in her five Games. She has found the most pride, however, in representing Team USA.

“This is USA on my back, I’m walking around like a peacock and I like to bring the gold,” Lorig said. “I like to see my sport glow especially when it says USA on my back.”

In the men’s gold-medal match, Luis Alvarez of Mexico defeated Brady Ellison 6-4. Down 4-0 after two sets, Ellison shot a perfect 30 in the third and won the fourth set as Alvarez failed to get his final arrow off in time, bringing the score to 4-4 heading into the fifth. Despite Ellison outshooting Alvarez’s match total (Ellison’s 141 to Alvarez’s 130), Alvarez was able to win the fifth set, 29-27, to win the match and the gold, while Ellison settled for silver.

“We both shot well, we both had a lot of 10s,” Ellison said. “It’s our system we have here – we’re a sport based on score.”

U.S. archers earned a total of four medals in Toronto, one gold, two silvers, one bronze), one in each event. None shined brighter than Lorig’s gold.

“It’s awesome to see her win this week, and I know she was really looking forward to it,” two-time Olympian Ellison said of Lorig’s performance. “Definitely when I was younger, she showed me the ropes.

“She’s tough, she won’t give up and she’s never going to back down. She’s just determined. It’s good for our women’s team to bring home a couple medals, it was a good weekend.”