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High spirits among young archers

12 January 2009
Sydney (AUS) - 12 January 2009
Young archers from across the world will be competing in a heated contest at the Australian Youth Olympics Festival (AYOF) archery competition, commencing on 15 January 2009 at the Archery Centre, Sydney Olympic Park. Athletes from Australia, Great Britain, Malaysia and Chinese Taipei will be competing in ranking rounds followed by individual and team elimination match plays.
High spirits among young archers Sydney (AUS) - 12 January 2009   Young archers from across the world will be competing in a heated contest at the Australian Youth Olympics Festival (AYOF) archery competition, commencing on 15 January 2009 at the Archery Centre, Sydney Olympic Park. Athletes from Australia, Great Britain, Malaysia and Chinese Taipei will be competing in ranking rounds followed by individual and team elimination match plays.

The Australian team, composed of Alice INGLEY, Ashley SIM, Elisa BARNARD photo, Mitchell JAMES, Ryan TYACK and Taylor WORTH, are competing against 18 other young and hopeful archers. 

The archers will shoot at targets with recurve bows from 70 metres away, at concentric circles of different point allocations. 

At just 15 years of age, BARNARD has already achieved top rankings in Youth Worlds 2008 and been named Overall Junior Female Recurve Australian Champion in 2006, 2007 and 2008. At this year’s AYOF however, she and her female teammates are faced with a new challenge.  

“I’m shooting up a division so it’s a longer distance to what I would normally do,” she said. “I’m an under 16 so I would normally shoot 60 metres [as my] maximum distance. Now I have to do 70 because of the one age group.”

In preparation for the AYOF, BARNARD has been training at the Archery Park, which provides facilities to train an archer’s distance, techniques and form.

Despite the longer distance and a recent shoulder injury BARNARD remains optimistic about the upcoming competition.

“It’s good in the way that I can still compete,” BARNARD said. “It’s just a matter of gradually increasing my strength to what it was.” 

The Australian team will compete against other international hopefuls such as Hannah STEWART from Great Britain, named top junior girl in Great Britain and number one junior in Scotland for the past four years.

The AYOF will also provide a great chance for the Aussies to get together as a team and practice for the upcoming Youth World Championships in July, where more than 50 countries will compete. 

During the competition, the archers will be wary of weather factors such as lightning and wind, which could affect their capacity to aim.  

“Sydney Olympic Park, where we’re competing at, is renowned throughout Australia for being a very windy venue to shoot at,” BARNARD said.

The archery competition will take place over three days from 15 January at the Archery Centre. 

Sisi ZHOU
Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) www.olympics.com.au