Archery dates back over 10,000 years, when bows and arrows were used for hunting and fighting. In medieval England it was considered essential for the defence of the country and an English law made it a compulsory skill for every male aged between 7 and 60yrs of age, it became extremely popular and developed as a competitive activity. Archery is now practised in over 140 countries worldwide and requires enormous reserves of nerve and skill.
The Olympic Archery competition will take place At Lord’s Cricket Ground, St John’s Wood. This picturesque, world famous ‘Home of Cricket’, will benefit from a makeover before it hosts the Olympic athletes from July 27th to August 3rd. An Archery range will be created on the outfield of the main ground and the nursery ground, in the beautiful surroundings of the 197 year old cricket club, the competition will consist of four medal events. The ground will accomodate a maximum of 6,500 spectators and there will be some tickets available priced at £20.
In Archery competitions the athletes score points by firing arrows at ten concentric scoring zones on the target. From a distance of 70 mtrs they score from 10 points for the golden bullseye down to 1 point on the white outer ring. There are individual and team events for both men and women and a preliminary round to decide seeding takes place before the Games officially start. The seedings decide who will play in the head to head elimination rounds. The individual competition consists of 64 archers with 12 arrows each who compete in a knock-out format. Team events follow the same format as the individual events, except that knockout matches consist of 24 arrows per country, 8 per archer. Any country that qualifies 3 male or 3 female archers into an individual event may compete in the corresponding team event. Modern bows are strong, light and bendy and often made of laminated wood, carbon fibre or fibreglass. A good Archer must have excellent concentration, good balance and eyesight, a steady hand and decent equipment. The ability to read wind speed and compensate for it is essential and the factor which separates the best archers from the also rans.
As the host nation GB are automatically entitled to enter 6 Archers, the maximum number any country may enter. Countries can secure an Olympic place by continental qualification tournaments and at qualification events which will be held just before next years Games. After the 2011 Olympic games have finished all the equipment used will be donated to clubs and schools throughout the country.
Simon Terry: he made his name as a 19 year old at the 1992 Olympics winning two Bronze Medals and then promptly retired!. After a 12 year break he returned to Archery in 2005, winning Silver at World Championships in 2007 and Gold at the European Grand Prix in 2011.
Alison Williamson: won Bronze at Athens Games in 2004 and led the British Team to Silver at the Commonwealth Games last year. Blamed herself for the teams failure to win a medal in Beijing, when they lost by one point, in the Bronze Medal match.
Alan Wills: was placed 15th in Beijing Games and won Gold at the 2010 World Field Archery Championships, he switched from field archery to target archery, to seek tougher competition and ultimately compete at the Olympics.
Naomi Folkard: selected for the 2004 Athens team ahead of top ranked team mate Alison Williamson. Won Double World Cup Gold in 2007 but failed to bring a medal home from Beijing Games.