Shoreham archery ace named in Team GB's Tokyo Olympic squad

Shoreham archery ace Bryony Pitman is off to the Tokyo Olympics.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 11:14 am
Bryony Pitman is Tokyo-bound / Picture: Getty
Bryony Pitman is Tokyo-bound / Picture: Getty

The British Olympic Association (BOA) today confirmed the selection of the six archers who will represent Team GB at the Tokyo Olympic Games - and Pitman is one of them.

Also among them are four-time Olympian Naomi Folkard, and Patrick Huston, who will compete in his second Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Pitman is the youngest member of the women’s team but was part of the bronze winning team at the 2019 World Archery Championships and, in 2019, she also won gold as part of the women’s recurve team at the European Games. Although Tokyo will be Pitman’s first Olympic Games, she has previously competed at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.

Bryony pictured in 2015 - showing she has been working towards her Olympic dream long-term

Sarah Bettles, Pitman, Tom Hall and James Woodgate will each make their Olympic debuts In Tokyo this summer at the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field from 23-31 July.

Folkard is an experienced member of the team having competed at the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games. From Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, Folkard has medalled at the last two World Championships, earning bronze in both the recurve mixed team and recurve women’s team, and has also medalled at World Cups, World Games, Commonwealth Games and European Games, as well as the World Field Championships in 2018 where she took home silver.

Huston previously represented Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after winning bronze at the 2016 European Championships. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Huston won silver and bronze with mixed team partner Folkard at the European Games in 2019 and World Championships in 2017, respectively. He won the individual silver medal and team bronze at the European Field Championships in 2017 and was part of the bronze winning team at the Archery World Cup in Antalya 2018.

Despite Tokyo being her first Olympic outing, Essex-born Bettles won gold as part of Team GB in the women’s recurve team event at the 2019 European Games and was part of the team that won bronze at the World Archery Championships in 2019.

Currently ranked number one in the UK, Hall was part of the team that secured the Olympic quota places in 2019 alongside Huston and was also a member of the bronze winning team at the Archery World Cup in 2018. Originally from Kenilworth, Warwickshire, he took up archery at university and went on to represent Great Britain at the World University Championships twice, as well as the World University Games.

At just 18, Woodgate is the youngest member of the archery team to be selected for Tokyo but has already amassed a wealth of experience having picked up the sport at the age of seven. He started competing at the age of nine in his hometown of Woking in Surrey and shot at the World Youth Championships in the recurve cadet men’s division in 2019.

Selected Team GB archers for Tokyo 2020:

Men:

Tom Hall, from Kenilworth, Warkwickshire

Patrick Huston, Belfast, Northern Ireland

James Woodgate, Woking, Surrey

Women:

Sarah Bettles, Essex

Naomi Folkard, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

Bryony Pitman, Shoreham in West Sussex

Mark England, Team GB Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, said: “I’d like to congratulate all six athletes on their selection to Team GB for Tokyo. It is quite unique to have a team made up of such a mix of experience – from an athlete set to participate in their fifth Olympic Games, to one who is taking a gap year from their university studies to focus on becoming an Olympian. That really is very exciting.

“As one of the first sports to get Team GB underway in Tokyo, we’re really looking forward to seeing the general public get behind each and every one of these athletes who will no doubt put on an inspirational display when they take to the field this summer.”

David Tillotson, Archery Team Leader for Tokyo, said: “Like all sports and athletes we have had to adapt to a delayed Games year and worked hard on our flexibility and resilience in these uncertain and complex times. With this very talented group of athletes, our Games ambitions remain firmly in place and we are resolved and excited to deliver performances that will cast a bright and inspiring light on British archery.

“Being on so early in the Games programme gives us a great opportunity to lead Team GB off in a successful Olympic Games.”

Archery joins shooting, triathlon, sport climbing, canoe, swimming and athletics and sailing as the first sports to announce the athletes selected to Team GB for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which will take place from 23 July to 8 August.