David Barnes returns for Australia after decade away from archery

After 10 years away from international archery, David Barnes is back on the Australian team and shooting at the fourth stage of the 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Berlin.

Barnes was a rising force, archery’s next big thing, in the early 2000s. 

He came third at the 2003 World Archery Championships at the age of 17 and then shot at the Olympic Games in 2004 in Athens. Barnes’ last international tournament was the worlds in 2007 in Leipzig, Germany.

He was 21 years old and walked away to “live the normal life of a teenager”, get married, have kids – and set-up a successful business in home gym equipment.

“[Archery is] something I always said I would come back to,” said Barnes. “I had a bit of a lightbulb moment when I realised I was 31 or 32 and it was my time to have my crack again.”

That was less than a year ago.

Barnes shot his first arrows of this second foray into the sport in the last months of 2017. He also reached out to an old friend on the Australian team in Sydney 2000 Olympic Champion Simon Fairweather.

“I was living in Adelaide. I sort of disconnected from the sport and didn’t speak to anyone, but I reached out to Simon and found out he was living in Adelaide, too,” he said.

“We went down to the pub and had a beer and had a meal and started talking.”

The pair started working together, Barnes back on the line and Fairweather as coach. His shooting level returned fast and Barnes was selected to join Australia at the last stage of the international circuit in 2018.

“The initial feeling and reasonable scores came back pretty quickly, but I’m not at the level that I was and feel like I’m a long way from that,” he said.

“There’s a long road ahead of me but I’m excited for the journey.”

This tournament in Berlin is a big step on that journey.

The fourth stage of the 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup takes place in Berlin, Germany on 16 to 22 July.