ARCHERY: ARCHER Naomi Folkard overcame strong winds to bag bronze at the World Archery Championships in Mexico City.
The 34-year-old, who has appeared at the Olympic Games on four occasions, teamed up fellow Olympian Patrick Huston from Northern Ireland to claim the bronze medal in the Mixed Pairs Recurve competition.
The bronze medal is likely to mark Folkard’s retirement from the international scene as she sets her sights on spending more time coaching as a result of a lack of funding for British Olympic Archery.
Folkard and Huston – seeded 15th in the world – faced a stiff task if they were to reach the medal matches.
They first faced second seeds Chinese Taipei. Folkard and Huston put the troublesome conditions to the back of their minds to win 5-3 in four sets.
Their second fixture against Mexico was no easier as the home nation included Aida Roman, the Olympic silver medalist from London.
But the British pair won 5-3 in four sets again to setup a semi final clash against Germany – seeded third in the world.
After a tied first set, Germany dominated to win 5-1, meaning the Leamington shooter and her Northern Irish team mate were drawn against fifth seeds Takaharu Furukawa and Tomomi Sugimoto of Japan in the battle for the bronze medal.
Folkard and Huston – who won the 2017 National Series Championship – started the bronze medal match as they meant to go on.
The pair won the first set 36-31 before landing the second by just one point – 37-36, granting GB a 4-0 lead.
Japan fought back by taking the third set 32-30 before Folkard and Huston matched Japan’s 34 points in the third set to earn a 5-3 win.
Folkard, who first shot for Team GB at the age of 12, told the Observer: “I’m delighted to have won a medal at the World Championships with Patrick.
“We make a strong team and both shot well.”
Her medal was made all the more deserved as a result of the unfavourable conditions in the Mexican capital.
She added: “The wind was treacherous, making the event something of an adventure. But we stayed calm and positive, gave it our best, and enjoyed it.
“I must thank our coaches, team mates, and sponsors for their tremendous support.
“It’s great to know that after 20 years of international archery I am still winning World Championship medals.”