Jodie Grinham’s big decision worth medals on the world stage

4 June 2019
’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
The 25-year-old was a silver medallist in the mixed team event at Rio 2016.

Jodie Grinham qualified second over the compound women’s open ranking round at the 2019 World Archery Para Championships.

She surprised even herself by beating her own personal best by 11, totalling 686 out of a possible 720 points to open the competition in ’s-Hertogenbosch.

“I didn’t expect that at all. I’m absolutely ecstatic to be 10 points above my personal best,” she said. “There have been a couple of issues, things coming loose, and even with two bad ends I could smash it and finish second. I’m so happy!”

Arriving in the Netherlands, Jodie was fourth in the world rankings. But things weren’t looking promising.

“I think I came in here with no expectations. Before I arrived, I wasn’t well. I had some equipment things, shoulder injury. And I came with the attitude: ‘it’s gonna go how it goes’,” she said.

Not long ago, Grinham was a student. She was reading law in London. At one point, the 25-year-old was forced to decide whether to focus on studies or archery. The decision seemed obvious.

“I studied for two years. It was becoming quite difficult to do both, studying law and archery. You have to give 100% to both of them, so I decided I was going to leave law and pursue my career in archery. It paid off because I won silver at Rio 2016. It was a good choice,” she said.

Jodie started archery in 2009 and made her international debut in 2014. Just two years later she achieved a result that many para athletes dream of. 

At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, she was sixth individually – but the bigger success came in the mixed team competition. Great Britain beat Italy and South Korea in quarterfinals and semifinals by one point. Eventually, Jodie and John Stubbs lost to China in the final to finish with the silver medal.

“People were more shocked to find out that I was doing a law degree, not that I left it,” joked Jodie.

The previous World Archery Para Championships didn't go her way. Grinham finished 17th. This year is already looking better after she won the Fazza para world ranking tournament in Dubai in the spring. 

“The goal for this tournament is to qualify to Tokyo 2020,” said Jodie. “And hopefully, I’ll get myself into a medal match.”

The 2019 World Archery Para Championships take place on 3-9 June in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.