15 May 2009 - Olympic glory is the target, as British archery heads into an exciting new era

Olympic glory is the target, as British archery heads into an exciting new era Newport (GBR) – 15 May 2009
Medal glory at the London Olympics in three years time is high on the agenda as British archery takes an exciting step into the future this weekend.   Archery GB bosses are launching the Archery GB National Series, designed to sharpen the competitive edge of its leading international archers, such as Athens bronze medallist and five time Olympian Alison WILLIAMSON, who at 37 is already targeting London 2012 as her sixth Olympic appearance.   “We’re moving archery up to where it needs to be heading in the modern era,” said National Series organiser Jon NOTT. "We're basing this on the FITA World Cup series, and you only have to look at the performances of the top archers at the World Cup to see how that competition has elevated standards to a new high since it was launched in 2006.   “So what I believe is that by launching a domestic tournament, we can help raise the standards of British archers, which will hopefully make us even more competitive at the World Cup events—though it has to be said, we don’t do badly anyway—but ultimately, it will help our prospects of medals at the London Olympics and Paralympics in 2012.    “For the elite archers such as Alison WILLIAMSON, Naomi FOLKARD, Charlotte BURGESS, Simon TERRY, Larry GODFREY and Alan WILLS, is a wonderful opportunity to take part in serious competition, with cash incentives to win, and at home in this country, rather than having to go abroad for such tournaments.   “But it will also be a fantastic opportunity for the up and coming, aspiring and ambitious archers to make a name for themselves—those on the fringes of the international squad, and those who have the desire, and want to get noticed by our Head Coach, Peter SUK, and maybe have London 2012 on their minds.”   And the tournament has been well received by the archers. Said Naomi FOLKARD, an Olympic archer in Athens and at Beijing last year: "I think this is a fantastic idea, and a wonderful opportunity, and I think it will quickly establish itself as one of the key events on the domestic archery calendar.   "I know I speak for all the regular GB international archers when I say the competition will really help sharpen us up, but it's a great opportunity for the archers on the fringe of the international squad to keep us on our toes!"   Larry GODFREY, who finished in fourth place at the Athens Olympics, said: "I'm really looking forward to the National Series—these tournaments are going to be the highlight of the GB calendar, and makes the sport in this country much more professional. I am so glad that I have the opportunity to be a part of the series, and there's a big incentive to be part of the Grand Finals."   The Paralympic archers will be lining up alongside their international colleagues, and Beijing gold medallists John STUBBS and Danielle BROWN have proved consistently they are more than capable of holding their own against their able-bodied colleagues.   They will feature alongside more than 200 archers, who will take part in the first round of the National Series, at Evesham this Sunday (17 May). The Grand Final will take place at Lilleshall on 4 October, with the top four overall finishers in the standings in men’s and women’s' recurve, and men’s and women’s' compound, qualifying.   For more, contact Peter JONES Phone: +44 (7841) 997408 Edited FITA Communication