England’s archers are celebrating winning two team gold medals and a bronze at the Commonwealth Games Test Event in Delhi today (Thursday).
Both the England men’s and women’s compound archery teams captured golds this morning, while the men’s recurve team won bronze this afternoon.
The competition is the test event for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October, which is archery’s second appearance on the Commonwealth Games programme.
The England women’s compound trio of Andrea Gales, Nicky Hunt and Nichola Simpson beat Malaysia 219-214 in their semi-final this morning to set up a final against the host nation.
The final was a cliffhanger. India were 111-109 up after two of the four ends, but England took the third end 59-57 to level up and the two team tied at 54-each to make the score 222-222.
The gold medal contest went to a three-arrow shoot-out. Gales, Simpson and Hunt each hit a 10 to seal victory against the India team, who shot eight, nine and eight.
Afterwards a delighted Simpson said: “We had a bit of a glitch in the middle of the final, but then went a bit stronger and pulled it together when we had to at the end.
“We’ve been working really hard as a squad and it’s really good to win,” said the Oxford-based archer. “We wanted to come here to see what the facilities are like ahead of the Commonwealth Games and everything has been really good here.”
Next up were the England men’s compound team of James Bingham, James Forbes and Mark Franklyn. They had to overcome India in the semis, a feat they achieved by 226-225 to set up a final against Malaysia.
England shot consistently well and were ahead from the first arrow. They took the first end 59-56, the second 58-56, but were edged out of the third 59-58 to go into the final end with a four-point advantage. They went on to take gold 232-229.
Franklyn, from Hampshire, said:  “We shot brilliantly as a team, we dropped very few points. There are some strong teams here that have come on so much in the last four or five years, so it was never going to be easy.
“To have the opportunity to come here and see the legacy that the Commonwealth Games will leave behind for archery has been absolutely fantastic. The experience here has been incredible.”
The men’s recurve team of Rob Hallworth, Jon Shales and Lee Williams added a third medal of the campaign for England.
They went down 213-190 in their semi-final against India, who went on to win gold, but the England trio then beat Scotland 210-203 in the bronze medal match.
Simpson returns to action in the semi-finals of the women’s individual compound tomorrow (Friday). She takes on Scotland’s Claudine Jennings.
Around 100 archers from 10 nations are taking part in the test event, which is at the Yamuna Sports Complex, one of the archery venues for the Delhi Commonwealth Games.
Archery made its only other appearance on the Commonwealth Games programme at Brisbane in 1982 and makes only its second Commonwealth appearance in Delhi.
England can justifiably claim to be joint top of the all-time Commonwealth Games medal table for archery, thanks to Mark Blenkarne
s victory in the mens competition.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games take place in Delhi, India, from 3 to 14 October 2010. They will feature 17 sports - archery, aquatics (swimming, synchronised swimming & diving), athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby 7s, shooting, squash, table tennis, tennis, weightlifting and wrestling. With the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Commonwealth Games England is entering a breath-taking four years of sport.
Commonwealth Games England (GCE) is the organisation responsible for selecting and organising England's team at the Commonwealth Games.
England finished second to Australia on the medal table at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games with 36 golds, 40 silvers and 34 bronzes.
Sport England is responsible for building the foundations of sporting success, by creating a world-leading community sport system of clubs, coaches, facilities and volunteers. Their focus is growing and sustaining the numbers of people taking part in sport and improving talent development to help more people excel.
For further information about archery in England please go to the English Archery Federation website at www.englisharcheryfederation.org
For further information about Commonwealth Games England please contact the Commonwealth Games England press office at Matchtight Ltd on 07765 071683 or 07831 755351 or see the CGE
s website at www.weareengland.org <http://www.weareengland.org>