Simon Terry is an Archery GB National Series champion for the second year running, while Naomi Folkard, Chris White and Nichola Simpson have all won their first titles - and all four will be travelling to Delhi.
The four archers all triumphed in their respective events at the National Series Grand Final, held at Jephson Gardens, in Leamington Spa.
Simon beat Rob Hallworth in a thrilling men’s recurve final to successfully defend the title he won at Lilleshall 12 months ago. But Rob, in his first Grand Final, made him fight to the very end. Indeed, Rob – who had beaten Michael Peart in the semi-finals - led for the first five sets, holding his nerve at times to maintain his advantage, but also missing the opportunity to clinch a remarkable victory. Rob shot for the match in the fifth set. But needing a 9 to win, he shot an 8, and left the door open for Simon to fight back. And that’s just what the British number one and World number eight did. He levelled the match at 6-6 in set six, and completed victory with a 10-10-8 in the seventh set, to Rob’s 9-8-8.
“I’ve been shooting well recently, and I’m delighted to be National Series champion again,” said Simon, who beat Larry Godfrey in his semi-final. "I hope now this can set me up for a good performance at next week’s World Cup Finals event in Edinburgh. All credit to Rob. He did really well, and all credit to him for a great performance.”
Said Rob: “I was shooting against a great guy. It’s great to be at this fantastic event, to be a part of it, and I couldn’t have been beaten by a better guy. I was delighted to be featuring here today, I’m chuffed I made it to the final, and hopefully this can be a stepping stone for me.”
In the women’s recurve tournament, there was a victory on home soil for Leamington born and bred Naomi, who defeated the defending champion Charlotte Burgess. Naomi, who beat Sam Meadows in her semi, beat Charlotte 8-6 in another tense match that stretched into a seventh set. Naomi took the early advantage, but Charlotte – a semi-final winner against Alison Williamson - bounced back to lead 4-2, before Naomi turned it in her favour, and eventually clinched the match 8-6, finishing with a 9-9-10 to Charlotte’s 9-8-8.
“It’s lovely to win the National Series gold medal, and especially to do it here in Leamington,” said Naomi.
In the compound events, Nichola and Chris turned silver into gold this year, having both finished runners-up 12 months ago. Nichola won her gold medal following a 6-2 semi-final victory over Danielle Brown, and then an 8-2 victory over Andrea Gales in the final, where she fought back from a set down to win the next four, and secure the championship.
“I was more nervous this year than I was last, but I’m thrilled to win the title, it’s a great feeling,” said Nichola.
Andrea, who beat defending champion Lucy O’Sullivan (Jersey) on a tie-break in their semi-final clash, is now looking forward to taking part in next weekend’s World Cup Finals tournament in Edinburgh. “I’m really excited about it, it’s going to be a great experience, and being involved in today’s event has set me up well,” she said.
And Chris will also be among the competitors in Edinburgh next weekend at the World Cup Finals. He won the men’s compound tournament with a 8-4 victory over Liam Grimwood in a closely fought contest. After winning the first set, Chris – who beat European champion Andy Rikunenko in the semi-finals – always had the upper hand over Liam, but could never relax.
But after Liam – semi-final victor over defending champion Duncan Busby – pulled it back to 6-4, Chris finished with a 10-10-9 to Liam’s 9-10-9 to clinch victory, and take the title.
He said: “The force was with me today, I shot better, but there’s very little to chose between us. We both shot well, but I’m delighted to win the gold medal. “I think the National Series is a brilliant concept, from the five qualifying tournaments, to the Grand Final itself. Jon Nott, the organiser, has done a fantastic job, he’s chosen a great venue here in Leamington, and it’s been a great day all round.”
Men’s compound: Semi-finals: C. White bt A. Rikunenko 6-2, L. Grimwood bt D. Busby 6-2. Bronze medal match: D. Busby bt A. Rikunenko 7-1. Final: Chris White bt Liam Grimwood 8-4.
Women’s compound: Semi-finals: N. Simpson bt D. Brown 6-2, A. Gales bt L. O’Sullivan 5-5 (Andrea won shoot-off). Bronze medal match: L. O’Sullivan bt D. Brown 7-3. Final: Nichola Simpson bt Andrea Gales 8-2.
Men’s recurve: Semi-finals: S. Terry bt L. Godfrey 6-2, R. Hallworth bt M. Peart 6-2. Bronze medal match: L. Godfrey bt M. Peart 6-0. Final: Simon Terry bt Rob Hallworth 8-6.
Women’s recurve: Semi-finals: N. Folkard bt S. Meadows 6-0, C. Burgess bt A. Williamson 7-1. Bronze medal match: A. Williamson bt S. Meadows 7-1. Final: Naomi Folkard bt Charlotte Burgess 8-6.