GB archers bow out

29 July 2012 / 10:48

Great Britain are out of the women's team archery competition after losing their first-round match against Russia at Lord's.

The exit of six-time Olympian Alison Williamson, Naomi Folkard and Amy Oliver completes a disappointing couple of days for the hosts after the men's trio also fell at the first hurdle on Saturday.

Russia, ranked 10 places above Great Britain in the world rankings were 215-207 winners, coming back from a shaky start that saw them concede a four-point deficit after the first end.

An uncharacteristic four from Folkard, who had otherwise shot well, sealed the loss in the final end.

Inna Stepanova shot first for Russia and put the pressure on with an opening 10. Folkard responded with a maximum from her first shot too and when Ksenia Perova hit six, a hat-trick of nines from the British team helped open up a 54-50 lead.

Russia, who placed sixth in Friday's ranking round to Team GB's 11th, hit back in the second end, shooting 55 from a possible 60. Williamson, now one of five Britons to compete in six Olympics, needed to strike centre gold to keep the hosts ahead at the halfway mark and duly did so to rapturous applause.

Folkard, herself a three-time Olympian, and Williamson dropped just one point each in their next two arrows but Oliver, the youngest member of the archery squad at 25, hit a six to leave the scores level with one end to go.

The Russia trio of Stepanova, Perova and Kristina Timofeeva reacted best to the situation, picking up four nines and two 10s from their last six shots.

Folkard, Oliver and Williamson each scored nine before Folkard's aim deserted her and she recorded a four - greeted by a sharp intake of breath from a supportive crowd.

The final margin of eight points meant her shot was not decisive in itself, but her personal disappointment was palpable as she left the ground.