Student archery stars win haul of medals at national tournament

By Jill Dando News

Four young archery enthusiasts from Burnham-On-Sea in Somerset, UK have brought home a haul of medals after competing in Archery GB’s annual Youth Festival Tournament in Shropshire this month.

The members of Burnham Company of Archers – all part of The King Alfred School Academy – travelled to Lilleshall to take part in the event between July 30th and August 4th where the club won two gold medals and five silver medals – easily their biggest haul at a national event.

Representing Burnham were Oliver May, shooting his first Youth Festival in the U15 Gents recurve; Molly Joyce in her first Youth Festival in the U21 ladies compound; Hannah Wells in the U21 ladies recurve; and Darragh Joyce in the U21 gents recurve.

A Burnham Company of Archers spokesman told “This was the leading national junior tournament of the year, set up to give archers a chance to experience how an international event is run.”

“Having four shooters at the tournament made the club one of the best represented of all the UK clubs taking part.”

“The tournament consists of practice on Sunday, an individual ranking round on Monday, teams eliminations on Tuesday, individual eliminations on Wednesday, and two days of finals on Thursday and Friday. On Tuesday there was also a home nations international competition, in which the club had two representatives.”

The tournament involves shooting three different rounds: the Individual round where the shooters compete on their own; a Team round where shooters are put with two other shooters of the same age and normally the same gender; and Mixed Teams where shooters are put with one other shooter, generally of the opposite gender.

(Photos: Malcom Rees)

“Monday started with the individual ranking round, with everyone shooting 72 arrows at their respective distance (50m for Molly and Oliver, and 70m for Hannah and Darragh) which is used to seed the archers for the individual knockout rounds. In the ranking rounds Darragh was the top club performer, ending up ranked 4th, only 2 points off 2nd in what turned out to be a tight competition throughout.”

“Tuesday was Mixed Teams in the morning, with sadly Hannah and Darragh’s teams being knocked out in the early rounds, but Oliver and his partner fought through several tough matches to reach the gold medal final. The highlight of this was Oliver shooting a perfect 10 in a shoot off that took his team through to the semi-finals. Molly found herself in the Tier 3 compound gold medal match, sadly losing the final by 2 points, but earning the first of the club’s haul of medals. In the afternoon Teams competition, Darragh, Hannah and Oliver were all in teams that worked their way through the knockout rounds, earning their teams places in the gold medal matches.”

“Tuesday evening saw the Home nations international event. Hannah was selected to shoot for Wales in the U21 recurve competition, and Molly was selected to shoot for Scotland in the U21 Compound competition. Hannah and her partner shot superbly throughout and deservedly took the gold medal. Molly and her partner had to settle for 4th.”

“Wednesday brought the Individual knockout rounds. Sadly, Hannah, Molly and Oliver were eliminated in the early rounds, but Darragh fought his way through to a semi-final against the number 1 seed. In a close match, Darragh won through to the final, reaching the individual finals field for the 2nd year in a row.”

“For Thursday and Friday, the competition moves to a separate field, where the shooters have the added pressure of shooting in front of cameras and a crowd, and every arrow announced on the PA system. In the 4 matches involving the club members, Oliver won Gold in the mixed teams and Silver in the Teams. Hannah and Darragh also won Silver in their respective Teams matches.”

“The final match on Friday saw Darragh in the Individual Gold medal match, a match that went right down to a one arrow shoot off. In a match that was close, the shoot off was no different, with Darragh’s arrow just outside the 10, and his competitors just inside.”

“This meant that over the week, the club had won 2 x Gold medals and 5 x Silver medals,  which was easily their biggest haul at a national event.”

The archery club is based at the BASC Ground in Burnham-On-Sea and welcomes new members. See more details here.


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