France visits Great Britain for joint camp

9 July 2015
Lilleshall (GBR)
A six-person recurve French recurve squad trained in Great Britain under competition simulation conditions in preparation for Copenhagen 2015.

The Copenhagen 2015 World Archery Championships act as one of the most important hurdles on any team’s journey to Olympic glory as the main qualifier for teams to the Rio 2016 Games. 

It’s an event that no squad can afford to underprepare for. 

Recurve teams from France and Great Britain did some of that competition preparation together under simulated conditions at the British team’s headquarters in Lilleshall.

Great Britain fielded a full squad of six athletes – both men’s and women’s teams – at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympiads, the latter as the host nation with automatic qualification. 

France had a men’s team in 2012 and a women’s in 2008 at the Beijing Games, where the nation collected team bronze by beating Great Britain. 

Two women from that match remain on their respective national teams: Brit Naomi Folkard and France’s Berengere Schuh

Folkard and Schuh will anchor modern editions of their respective national teams with high aspirations and under pressure to perform in the toughest field ever seen at a World Archery Championships in 2015. 

The French teams ranked third and eighth in the world at the start of July 2015, while Great Britain’s men sat in 20th and women 17th. 

Jean-Charles Valladont, Pierre Plihon, Lucas Daniel, Solenne Thomas, Laura Ruggieri and Schuh’s three-day camp included intense head-to-head simulation, designed to prepare both teams better for the pressure of Copenhagen, against Naomi and the British squad. 

The recently revealed Great British roster for the worlds includes London 2012 Olympian Amy Oliver, Nicky Hunt, three-time Olympian Larry Godfrey, Kieran Slater and Patrick Huston, who was a cadet world champion in 2013. 

Both the French and British squads entered an Archery GB National Series tournament in Surrey to conclude the week long camp. 

Natasja Bech and Carina Rosenvinge, two-thirds of the highly touted Danish women’s team that collected bronze at the last World Archery Championships, also registered for the event.