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Superhero stories as GB National Series titles are decided

Olympians Amy OLIVER and Alan WILLS, two-time Paralympic Champion Dani BROWN and Belgian visitor Michael CAUWE claimed gold medals at the final of Archery GB’s premier domestic tournament series on Sunday 1 September 2013 in front of thousands of spectators and broadcast viewers.

Archery presented its own Wollaton based blockbuster—joining prestigious company since the Hall was used to represent the house of Bruce WAYNE, Batman’s alter ego, in Hollywood’ Dark Knight trilogy—by streaming the entire National Series final live, on World Archery’s Youtube channel.

Viewing figures peaked so high that the stream actually crashed for a while—and it was a similar story in the Wollaton Hall-based stadium. Nearly 4,000 people showed up to witness the competition throughout the day, making it the largest independent-sport spectator archery event held in the UK to date—and a fitting follow up to last year’s Olympic show at Lord’s.

The competition the crowd turned up to watch was headlined by the sport’s very own superhero recovery tale. Amy OLIVER (right photo), a year removed from forming one-third of the London 2012 recurve women’s team, qualified for the event with a surgically-repaired shoulder that should have seen her sidelined until 2014.

She did not stop at just qualifying, though. After a rocky start in her semi-final against compounder-turned-recurver Nicky HUNT that saw the pair draw level, Amy sneaked through to the gold medal match on a closer-to-the-middle 10 in the event’s unique sixty-second-shoot off. Once there, she despatched first-seeded Naomi FOLKARD six set points to nil to take victory, and her first National Series Final title.

Larry GODFREY had the chance to defend his 2012 Champion trophy in the recurve men’s competition—but fell foul to his Olympic teammate Alan WILLS’ (main photo) never ending stream of tens in the semis. Final score: 7-3. Alan then had little trouble beating first-timer Michael JUDD for gold, winning in straight sets.

Larry could not recover from his first-round loss, though. He lost 6-0 to Ashe MORGAN—another newbie—in a bronze medal match that suffered short delays due to technical hiccups with the automatic timing system.

Paralympic Champion in 2008 and 2012, Dani BROWN (left photo) was up to old tricks: setting the standard in the compound competition. She was a clear 10 points ahead of the other athletes in the semis, and beat her opponent, Andrea GALES, by 11; 144-133.

2011 Champion Lucy O’SULLIVAN presented more of a challenge for gold, and was keeping up with Dani for much of the blustery 15-arrow match. An arrow in the red let the Paralympian jump into a lead she would not relinquish, closing out for gold 142-141.

The battle for men’s compound gold was probably the highlight of the day, though. Michael CAUWE (bottom photo) and Adam RAVENSCROFT sat at 145-a-piece at the end of 15 arrows, marking the first time in its history that a National Series title would be decided by its own shoot-off rule: 60-seconds, no limit on arrows and the closest to the middle wins!

Belgian Michael—also the first non-GB archer at the Finals—hit an X10, as did home-favourite Adam… and though it was close, it was hard to dispute the Belgian’s claim to the top podium spot. Adam tried, by flinging down five more shafts—but they all landed too far away from the spider to alter the outcome: Archery GB’s first Belgian National Series champion.

2013 National Series Final – Podium

RWRMGoldAmy OLIVERAlan WILLSSilverNaomi FOLKARDMichael JUDDBronzeAbbie FISHERAshe MORGANRunner-upNicky HUNTLarry GODFREY CWCMGoldDani BROWNMichael CAUWESilverLucy O’SULLIVANAdam RAVENSCROFTBronzeAndrea GALESMatt ARNOLDRunner-upRikki BINGHAMLiam GRIMWOOD Full results available at:
www.ianseo.net
 Full video available at:
www.youtube.com/user/archerytv Follow the competition at:
www.twitter.com/AGBNatSeries 
 World Archery CommunicationCredit: Chris WELLS