Stretton breaks own world record in W1 qualification

14 September 2017
Beijing, CHN
The 17-year-old Paralympic Champion shot one of three world records set during Beijing qualifying.

Rio 2016 Paralympic Champion Jessica Stretton scored 657 out of a possible 720 points over the 50-metre ranking round to break her own W1 women’s world record by a point at the 2017 World Archery Para Championships in Beijing, China.

That was despite the hot and humid morning on the field, which were difficult conditions for W1 athletes.

“I didn't expect to shoot this well at all. I had a really iffy first half. I was only hoping to get up into the high 640s, so to get a high 650 is just... wow,” said Stretton.

“It's all about the minor gains now, finding the ways to keep calm and make sure your arms don't twitch just for that one arrow, getting the groups closer together.”

Stretton set the previous record of 656 in Dubai in January, and prior to that at 649 in January 2016.

Victoria Rumary, the newest British athlete on the W1 team, was leading the field for most of qualification, and looked set to break the record herself until the last two ends.

She fell away to finish second on 653.

“It felt really good to be out there.” she said. “I want to work on my focus and keep it together more.”

Now widely recognised as the best W1 women’s team in the world after taking all three medals at Rio 2016, the British women finished first, second, and third over Beijing qualifying. Jo Frith took the third spot with 643 points.

“It's very satisfying,” said Stretton. “It's always a goal to be able to go to something like the World Championships or the Paralympics and set the standard for the next year of shooting.”

"We are a formidable team. We put a lot of hours into our training, making sure we're at the top of our game. It’s just down to hard work and dedication.”

(No W1 women’s team medal will be awarded at these world championships.)

Omer Asik finished top over the men's W1 ranking round on 674, just ahead of teammate Naci Yenier with 664.

Along with teammate Yigit Caner Aydin (629), the Turkish men obliterated the world record with 1967 points, 137 points ahead of the world record mark set by Russia in 2015.

Both the Korean and Russian teams also finished way above the previous mark, on a morning that also saw the compound women’s open team record tumble – clear evidence of the increasing quality across para archery’s premier teams.

The 2017 World Archery Para Championships run 12-17 September in Beijing, China.