China 2 for 2 in gold finals as Brits take silver

12 September 2016
Rio de Janeiro (BRA)
China’s compound open mixed team won the nation its second archery gold medal of the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

After China’s recurve open pair took the first Paralympic mixed team title on archery’s first medal day at Rio 2016, its compound open mixed team doubled the gold-count on the second.

Number two seeds Zhou Jiamin and Ai Xinliang beat Great Britain in the final.

The Chinese pair built a three-point lead in the second end, then pulled away with the closing arrows, taking advantage of some loose reds from the Brits with their last two arrows.

“In the last match it was very close, but we were very confident that we could achieve the best result,” said Zhou.

The silver medal marks a return to the Paralympic podium for Britain’s Beijing 2008 Paralympic Champion John Stubbs. He was chosen to shoot in the mixed team ahead of Nathan MacQueen, who shot five points more during the ranking round.

“This probably means as much as winning in Beijing did to be honest,” said John. “This is a coming together… of eight years of hard graft.”

Stubbs switched between his primary and spare bows multiple times on the field.

“I’m wildly confident with both the bows and I find that obviously with sport it’s all about going with the flow. I live by the sword, for the sword. At the end of the day I’m confident with whatever I choose to put the arrows in the middle,” he explained.

His partner, Jodie Grinham, is a Paralympic debutant in Rio.

She performed at her best during the semifinals, as the fifth-ranked British pair upset top-seeded Korea by a single point, 144-143.

To start the gold final, Grinham drilled three straight 10s – as she out-scored her experienced partner by five points through the first half of the contest. She was holding at full draw for some time, and by the time she quickened up her shot, the match had fallen just out of reach.

“I have been crying already and I was crying when the medal was put around my neck. Obviously I wanted to win a medal but never in my life did I think I’d bring home a silver or be in the gold medal match,” said Jodie.

When asked what she thought of the noise the medal made, she replied: “It goes with the whole carnival theme. It sounds like a maraca. I’ve never felt one before. And it’s mine!”

(The Rio 2016 Paralympic medals each make a noise, differing between colours, when they are shaken.)

Korea took compound open mixed team bronze ahead of Turkey.

China has two of two mixed team medals contested so far in Rio, and has a chance to take all three if it claims the W1 gold as well. However, China is seeded seventh in that event, while Great Britain – in a prime position to improve on silver – is ranked number one.

The para archery competition at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games runs 10-17 September in the Sambodromo.