Athens Olympian Dave Barnes returning to Australian team for Tokyo 2020

Dave Barnes, Ryan Tyack and Taylor Worth have been announced as Australia’s recurve men’s team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Tyack and Worth were two members of the squad that took bronze at Rio 2016.

Barnes competed at the Games in Athens in 2004, one year after finishing third at the World Archery Championships in New York, and returned to the sport in 2017 after a decade-long hiatus.

“It’s an amazing feeling to be back at the Olympics,” Barnes told the Australian Associated Press.

“In Athens, I was a teenager with nothing to lose and no real responsibilities. Fast forward to today and I’m a dad of two, running my own business and just at a completely different stage of my life.”

“Knowing my kids will be able to see their dad compete at the Olympics is a great motivator.”

The 16-year gap between Athens and Tokyo equals the second-longest break between Games for an Olympian from Australia.

Now aged 34, the entrepreneur returned to archery with the express goal of competing at these upcoming Olympics.

“I had this realisation that being 34 is not a competitive disadvantage. I looked back at Simon [Fairweather] who was 32 at Athens 2004 and was still a hyper-competitive archer,” said Barnes.

“I thought to myself, now is the time to get back into it and Tokyo 2020 was the goal.”

Sydney 2000 Olympic Champion Fairweather is also involved; he’s Dave’s coach.

Australia secured a men’s team quota for Tokyo 2020 at the primary qualification tournament held during the 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships in ’s-Hertogenbosch.

That event featured the same roster of Barnes, Tyack and Worth.

Barnes replaces Alec Potts in the line-up that won Australia the recurve men’s team bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Worth also competed at London 2012.

Archery Australia CEO Rick Hastie said that the team has been working hard over the past few years under the leadership of head coach Shih Ya Ping and high performance lead Graeme Rose.

“We understand the huge sacrifices that our athletes, support teams and their families make to get to this point and we are fully behind them in preparation for what should be an exciting couple of months in the lead up to Tokyo 2020,” he added.

“We cannot wait to see David, Ryan and Taylor in action along with the rest of the Australian team.”

Australia does not yet have a recurve women’s quota place for Tokyo 2020. The next opportunity to win a spot is the Oceania Championships in early April.