SHE might have left the Youth Olympic Games empty- handed, but Shoreham-by-Sea archer Bryony Pitman insists she heads home from Nanjing armoured with all the tools needed to succeed at the highest level.
Having finished the women’s recurve ranking round in 14th position on Friday, Pitman had high hopes as she went into her elimination match with 19th-placed Regina Romero of Guatemala 24 hours later.
However, Romero did reach the final four at last year’s World Youth Championships and showed her class, beating 17-year-old Pitman 6-4.
And the Guatemalan returned to haunt the Cardinal Newman Catholic School pupil again the very next day as well, as Romero and her Belgian partner Rick Martens knocked Pitman and Belarus’ Aliaksei Dubrova out of the mixed international team event at the last-16 stage, winning 5-1.
Despite losing out twice to Romero, Pitman is adamant her Nanjing adventure has shown her the way to ensure lightning does not strike a third time.
She said: “The team event was definitely a hard match, the other team shot well and unfortunately I didn’t shoot as well as I could have.
“I still shot better than my individual match but both days weren’t as good as I would have liked them to be but it has given me plenty to work on next time.
“In my individual match, I was winning but I was shooting low and I couldn’t move my sight on either of my bows, both of them just got stuck.
“So that was frustrating but it was something that can’t be helped, and then she went on to beat me in the mixed team event, too.
“But the whole experience has still been good overall. The venue was amazing and it was nice to have this experience.
“I think I just need to work on my mental programme a lot more and just keep building on my technique.”
Pitman’s trip to China marks the last bit of action for the teenager this season, although she insists the journey to China has already got her thinking about how to improve next time around.
She said: “We are done for this season now, so I will just be indoors when I get back and trying to make the European Indoor Championships team.
“The indoor season will just be working on technique and working on things that have gone on here to ensure they don’t happen again.”
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