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I spoke out against GB head coach Peter Suk immediately after my quarter-final defeat at the Olympic Games and then retracted it on reflection in my blog later that day.

Since then, I've had more time to reflect and I stand by what I originally said and if a lot of things don't get better, I will pack it in and that's not me being a sore loser.

Concerns need to be raised for the benefit of the whole of GB archery - if we can push on, the funding will get there, if not, the sport goes back to no funding and fewer competitors.

The next three or four years are going to be interesting with London 2012 coming up - we should get more input into what we need to become world and Olympic champions.

Continue reading "Archery concerns need addressing"

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It has been a fantastically successful Olympics for Team GB, and as I've watched the cyclists and the sailors enjoying the limelight, I suppose I cannot help reflect on the disappointment that GB's six archers will be returning home empty-handed.

I think the reason Archery GB has been so flat is that expectations were so high, and it is to the credit of our archers that that was so. Alison Williamson, Alan Wills et al have all performed so well on the international stage over the past four years that observers such as myself started to become too confident.

It all started with a bronze for Alison at Athens in 2004, and a fourth place finish for Larry Godfrey. Since then, they have won a number of medals at various international competitions, ranging from world and European championships, to World Cup tournaments. And not for nothing are our women's team ranked second in the world, and the men fifth.

Continue reading "A missed opportunity for GB archers"

It's been my first Olympics and while I'm disappointed not to get a medal, it's been a fine line all the way.

Let me start by putting straight what I said after I was knocked out of the archery in the last 16 earlier today.

I was cheesed off with my performance and then went straight into interviews. Sometimes you say stuff in the heat of the moment which you otherwise wouldn't.

I always said I wanted to compete in the Olympics and finish with a smile on my face and I didn't do that, but now I've been to the gym for an hour, I've had time to reflect a bit more.

Continue reading "Time to reflect on archery exit"

Olympic Green Archery Field

A bit like the sailors at currently windless Qingdao, Britain's medal tally has hit the doldrums over the last couple of days.

There was concern this first week was going to be slow, and to be honest, so it has proved.

Apart from the swimmers, who've had a great Olympics, and the cycling team who will undoubtedly be Britain's biggest providers, there's been disappointment elsewhere.

Nothing out of judo, diving, badminton, tennis, shooting - and now archery, where I've been spending my time over the last few days.

Archery had a target of two medals, and managed only a 4th place in the women's team event.

Let's add some context to that.


Continue reading "Coping with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune"

Watching sport should be fun. And usually it is. Unless you're watching an event where you have a vested interest.

Like Sunday's women's archery team tournament at the Olympics in Beijing.

As the media adviser to Archery GB, I know Alison Williamson, Naomi Folkard and Charlotte Burgess, and have a great deal of time and respect for all three of them.

So obviously I was willing them to win a medal. Gold was a tall order - the Koreans are quite simply phenomenal, but silver was a possibility; bronze I'd have settled for.

Continue reading "Archery tears speak volumes"

Thunder and lightning, deafening chants from raucous spectators, torrential storms and, in the end, tears.

I had no idea archery could be like this.

Midway through the afternoon, word had whistled round the Brits in Beijing that Alison Williamson, Naomi Folkard and Charlotte Burgess were within touching-distance of GB's first medal of these Olympics.

In their way stood China. And that's where the trouble started.

Continue reading "Archery enters the eye of the storm"

After four days of being in the Olympic Village, I'm finally starting to get to know my way around.

This place is massive, it's like a small town and it's bigger than the village I come from in Cumbria.

It's been a good few days though mingling with the other athletes and being recognised by Lleyton Hewitt.

But with my competition starting tomorrow, it's time for final preparations.

Continue reading "Getting my bearings in a massive village"

Mark Foster, GB flag-bearer at Beijing - a gold medal hope too?

Today is tinged with sadness for me as I bid farewell to the Olympic countdown that has been my life for the last three and-a-bit months (I have done bits of other stuff too, just in case the boss is reading and, yes, I have had a haircut).

Continue reading "Olympic countdown - 1 day - Golden GB"

Britain's archers have an excellent chance of winning individual and team medals, but the South Koreans will be the ones to beat in Beijing when the competition gets underway on Saturday.

Archery accounted for three of the nine gold medals South Korea won in Athens four years ago, and they have a deep pool of talented archers who are all more than capable of winning medals.

Athens gold medalist Park Sung-hyun and 12-arrow world record holder Yoon Ok-hee will lead the South Korean women's squad, while the men's team will include Im Dong-hyun, the reigning world champion.

Continue reading "Dominating South Koreans are not invincible"


Watching the British badminton team warm up is exhausting in itself.

A bit of "keepy-uppy" is followed by what can only be described as a frenetic synchronised dance.

It's only then that the fencing-like parry and thrust of practice begins.

Lightning reflexes, power and timing are paramount as the shuttlecock whistles over the net in a blur of rackets.

Continue reading "Fitter, stronger, faster - badminton and the archers"

This weekend, Britain's Olympic archers will be heading off to Macau to begin final preparations for Beijing.

Alan Wills, Larry Godfrey, Simon Terry, Alison Williamson, Naomi Folkard and Charlotte Burgess will be carrying British hopes of medals in this competition, and I genuinely believe they have prospects, both in the individual events, and certainly in the team tournaments.

They, and the 12 Paralympians who will be heading off later in August, were given a hearty send-off last weekend, with a big barbeque reception, and it was hard not to be excited on their behalf.

Continue reading "Archers upbeat ahead of departure"

The fact that I am actually going to the Olympic Games kicked in for the first time on Tuesday when I went to pick up my kit.

Last month's qualifying shoot-off, followed by finding out my mum had suffered a heart attack and a World Cup meet in France had left me mentally exhausted, but I've had a few days of relaxation and now I'm raring to go.

I've also got two large suitcases full of stuff like suits, shoes, tracksuits, a camcorder and the GB mascot.

Continue reading "Beijing dream turning into reality"

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