Archery’s funding uncertainty since Rio seems to have served as a catalyst for this cohort’s success.
Naomi Folkard and Patrick Huston have today been named as the two archers who will represent Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
It will be a fourth Olympic Games appearance for Folkard who made her Games debut at Athens 2004 before competing at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
For 20-year-old Huston it will be a first Olympic Games appearance after competing in the individual and team events at last year’s World Championships in Copenhagen. Huston secured a quota place at Rio 2016 for Team GB after a third-place finish at this year’s European Championships in Nottingham.
Both will compete in the individual recurve event in Rio after Huston’s success in Nottingham was followed up by Folkard who earned quota spot after finishing second at the World Cup in Antalya, Turkey.
Team GB have won nine medals in archery – including two golds – since the sport made its first appearance at the Games in 1900.
The selected athletes are:
Naomi Folkard, 32, hometown Leamington Spa
Patrick Huston, 20, Belfast
Sean Evans, Patrick Huston, Alex Smith, Ashe Morgan, Naomi Folkard are among a large British contingent at the fourth stage of the competition – and Patrick will also be trying to win enough World Cup indoor points to qualify for the finals.
And they are off to a good start. At the end of the first day, Ashe topped the recurve flights category, with Stuart Barby in fourth spot, Mark Nesbitt joint 11th and Sean and Alex 14th and 15th respectively. Also shooting in that category are Bob Lowe, currently ranked 56th, Gilbert Jamieson (74), Verity Gray (112), Susan Agnew (147), Pete James (159) and Dwight Hagley (166).
In the recurve championship categories Naomi finished the day in seventh spot with Patrick in sixth. Among the other Britons were: Edward McDermott (65), Thomas Fewz (71), Leslie Day (74) and Malcolm Dukes (75).
In the compound championships, Nichola Simpson finished the first day ranked joint 14th with Andrea Gales at 51, followed by Victoria Barby at 78. Chris White is 106th in his competition, with Ryan Jeavons at 258.
Robert Hall tops the British rankings in the compound unlimited flight category after the first day at 34. Alex Bridgman finished at 48, ahead of Jordan Mitchell (55), Alistair Whittingham (113), Thomas Hutchins (131), Alan Convery (286), Carl Richards (296), Kirsty Robb (368), Hannah Brown (455), Christopher Horan (474), Kevin Cassidy (625), Karen Jamieson (681), Patricia Hotchkiss (710), Charlie Cassidy (878)
To follow the results, click here.
Following the Vegas shoot, the archers will travel to the Chula Vista Archery Centre in California to join other GB Olympic hopefuls Brad Denny, Kieran Slater, Sally Gilder, Amy Oliver, Bryony Pitman, Becky Martin and Nicky Hunt.
The aim is to take advantage of warm weather training and competition with other leading and Olympic qualifying nations such as USA, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and Japan.
Performance Director David Tillotson said: “This is an excellent pre-season training opportunity, with a camp followed by a competition. It will allow our archers to test themselves against high-level international competitors with warm temperatures and in wind conditions likely to be experienced at the European Championships in Nottingham, in May.”
After a week in Chula Vista, the squad will be going to the Centro de Alto Rendiemento in Tijuana.
It is one of Mexico’s main archery training centres and has excellent facilities. It has produced many of the archers who have competed for Mexico, and the GB squad will train alongside Mexican archers and the visiting Spanish Team.
David said: “This is a further preparation opportunity for the archers as they work to convert the strong training scores from the winter into high-level international competition scores.
Informal team and individual matches will help to match-harden the archers in readiness for the coming European selection shoots, the European Championships and the Antalya Team World Cup, at which GB aims to be competitive enough for finals places and win Rio 2016 Olympic quota places.”
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