The British Olympic Association (BOA) has today named six archers as officially selected to compete for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The selected athletes include Athens 2004 Olympic bronze medallist Alison Williamson, 40, who will participate in her sixth consecutive Olympic Games. Williamson joins a very special group of only four British Olympians to compete in six Games, alongside javelin thrower Tessa Sanderson (1976-1996), fencer Bill Hoskyns (1956 to 1976) and biathlete Mike Dixon (Winter Olympics 1984-2002).
Williamson will be joined in the women’s squad by 24 year-old Olympic debutant Amy Oliver, and Naomi Folkard, 28, who will be competing in her third Games in succession. The women’s team will be aiming for the medal podium after finishing fourth at the last Olympics in Beijing. The same trio selected to Team GB today won a silver medal while representing England at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
In the men’s competition Team GB will be represented by Simon Terry, 38, who won a pair of bronze medals 20 years ago at the Barcelona 1992 Games. Terry will be competing in his third Olympics, as will Larry Godfrey, 35. Alan Wills, 31 will enter the Olympic competition for the second time, having made his debut in Beijing four years ago. The men’s team demonstrated their form by claiming the gold medal at the most recent World Cup in Turkey.
Cumulatively the archers have experience of competing at 12 Olympic Games and have won three Olympic medals. All six archers will compete in the individual competition, as well as joining forces to contest the men’s and women’s team events.
The selected athletes are:
The addition of the archers brings the total number of athletes officially selected to Team GB for London 2012 to 82 across seven disciplines: archery, athletics – marathon, boxing, canoe slalom, sailing, swimming and synchronised swimming.
The athletes were formally nominated to the BOA for selection to Team GB by Archery GB, the National Governing Body for aquatics in the UK.
Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said:
“We are delighted to welcome a full complement of six archers to Team GB to compete in the London 2012 Olympic Games in what will be a very memorable setting at Lord’s. There is a real wealth of experience within the squad, which will stand them in good stead for the unique pressure involved in Olympic competition. All six individuals have won medals at world level and the men’s team demonstrated just last weekend that the British archers are competitive with the very best by winning gold at the World Cup in Turkey.”
“What Alison has achieved is very special. Attaining the incredibly high standard required to become an Olympian once is something to be admired, to achieve it six times is something to be truly cherished and is a tribute to her consistent passion, determination and talent for the sport over two decades. The experience she can share with her teammates throughout One Team GB is invaluable.”
Archery GB Performance Director Sara Symington said:
"No stone has been left unturned in the pursuit of ensuring our archers are fully prepared, and at the top of their game, for the London 2012 Olympics.
"We have an extremely experienced squad who have had to work very hard to fight off determined competition for a place at the Games. It's a great achievement by all six archers to maintain such high levels of consistency over a long time.
"But securing their place is just the start, and now we all - archers and coaches - have to be extremely focused, to make sure that when they step out at Lord’s they are as prepared, ready and focused as they could possibly be."
Archery GB Olympic Coach Lloyd Brown said:
"I congratulate all six archers who made the team, they all worked extremely hard to secure their places at the London Olympics, and I am confident that they'll all be very competitive in the individual tournaments, and together in the team events.
"The competition for places was very intense, and that tells me we have both a healthy strength in depth, and some very good young archers waiting to break through in future."
Alison Williamson said:
"I'm so thrilled and proud to have made it to my sixth Olympics. It makes all the sacrifices, and all the hard work, over many years, worthwhile. Now I can start to look forward to the enormous honour of representing my country at a home Olympic Games. It just doesn't get any better."
"I have enjoyed the experience at every Games and it means as much today as it did when I qualified for the Barcelona Games 20 years ago. This is the ultimate event that every athlete aspires to, and to be there six times is just amazing."
"The Olympic selection process was a tense three weeks, and the competition was fierce, as you'd expect, and I was so relieved to secure one of the three places. I am confident Amy, Naomi and I will be competitive in both the individual tournament, and also in the team event. The three of us won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010, and there's no reason why we can't be in the mix for a medal at Lord’s."
Simon Terry said:
"I'm really happy to be going to a third Olympics, especially a home Games. London 2012 is going to be a wonderful occasion for everyone, and to be a part of it is very exciting. It will be a fantastic experience to walk out at Lord’s, and see 5,000 spectators supporting you as a British athlete.
"But I'm not turning up for the experience, I'm turning up to do my very best, in both the individual competition, and with Larry and Alan in the team event. I won two bronze medals at the Barcelona Games 20 years ago, and that great experience is one I'd love to repeat. As a team, Larry, Alan and myself have medalled at World Cup tournaments, and at a World Championship, so I see no reason why we can't be in there with a good shout at the London Olympics.
Larry Godfrey said:
"Everything I've worked for since 2005 has been geared towards making sure I make the team for the London 2012 Olympics, and having achieved that is a dream come true. It's going to be a great experience in a unique atmosphere, and I am privileged to have the opportunity to be a part of it. I came fourth at the Athens Games in 2004, and winning an Olympic medal in London would be a dream come true for me.
"I've been shooting well this year, I'm totally focussed, and I am really up for it. With Simon and Alan I really think we have a good chance in the team event. We have shot together for some time now, we know each other really well, we've won medals at international competitions, and I'm convinced we have more medals in us."
Alan Wills said:
"Qualifying for the Olympics was very tough and I am absolutely thrilled to secure my place in the team with Simon and Larry, and make it to a second Olympic Games. I can't wait now to walk out at Lord’s. It's going to be a fantastic experience, and an atmosphere that will be like nothing we've ever experienced before.
"Going to Beijing four years ago was a memorable experience for me, it was my first Olympics. Taking part in London 2012 is what i've been working towards for four years, and to have secured my place is fantastic. Nothing would make me prouder than being able to bring home an Olympic medal.
Naomi Folkard said:
"I am so excited to qualify for the Olympic Games for a third time. It was a great thrill going to Athens in 2004, and then to Beijing four years ago. But to take part in a home Olympics will be very special. Securing my place makes all those long hours of practice worthwhile - getting to the London Olympics has been my incentive, and every day I've been working towards that.
"But qualifying for the Olympic Games is only the start of it. Now I've got to make sure I'm at the top of my game come July 27, when the Olympic archery tournament gets underway. There will be 63 other archers in the women's tournament who will be as ambitious for a medal as I am, and the competition will be fierce but i’m ready to give it my best shot."
Amy Oliver said:
"I am so thrilled, and proud, to qualify for the Olympic Games, and securing my place makes all those long hours of practice, hard work and sacrifice worthwhile. You have good days and bad ones during the course of the year, but when you're chasing the dream of going to the Olympics - even more so, your home Olympics - you never let anything distract you from making sure you arrive at your destination.
"I am so pleased to be part of a team with Alison Williamson and Naomi Folkard, who have been so supportive since I first broke through to the international squad back in 2007. They are both hugely experienced Olympic archers and I am learning a lot from them.”