June 16, 2024

Paris 2024: GB secure six quota spots for the Olympic Games

From one space to six. The GB recurves have won a women’s and a men’s team spaces for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. 

When asked to sum up what winning her team Paris ticket meant to her, Penny Healey said: "Empowering."

At the Final Olympic Quota Tournament in Antalya, Türkiye, the British recurves fought for their chance to compete at the 2024 Olympic Games. The women needed to finish in the final four to earn a place, and the men needed to make the podium. 

On Friday 14 June, the women’s team shot through to the all important quarter finals; one more win would guarantee their Olympic dream. Bryony Pitman, Penny Healey and Megan Havers faced the team from Japan, shooting a 57 to their opponents 56 in the final end, winning the match 6-2 and earning their Olympic spot. Their day however was not yet done, as they continued to compete until they won the bronze final against Chinese Taipai. 

Penny said: "It feels like one of the biggest reliefs. It's been something that's been coming for a while now and we've put a lot of work in over the past three years."

Left to right: Megan Havers, Penny Healey and Bryony Pitman celebrate their quota spot win

A day later, it was the men's turn to continue GB's lucky streak, as they hoped to follow their teammates to Paris. The day started off in the right direction with the men finishing qualification in 4th place. 

In the semi-finals against Mexico, Alex Wise, Conor Hall and Tom Hall came just short of winning a place in the gold final which would've guaranteed their Olympic spot. This meant that nothing short of the bronze win would've been enough to make it to Paris. 

The match against the German men went all the way to 3-all; the winner of the next end would take the bronze and the Olympic place. Germany finished with a 55, and a 56 from GB was exactly what they needed for the win. 

Alex Wise told us: "Everyone in archery knows that the Olympics is the epitome and the pinnacle of recurve archery, and it was everything we could've hoped for. We trained for it, we were prepared for it, but we probably didn't expect in our heart of hearts that it would go the way it did because there are so many strong teams out there. We knew that if we were on it, and with a bit of luck, that we could do it, and fortunately that's exactly what happened. The stars aligned in the right way all day."

Left to right: Conor Hall, Tom Hall and Alex Wise hold their Paris tickets to the sky

The team will stay in Antalya to compete in the third stage of the World Cup, and then will return home to the UK to continue their training to get Olympic ready. 

Tom Duggan, Archery GB's Performance Director, said: "I'm delighted we have been able to secure six spots for Paris. A lot of time and planning by both the athletes and staff has gone in to getting us this opportunity. Everyone executed the plan perfectly and the decisions we made to change our preparation paid off. 

"We are really lucky to have Bryony and Penny in the women's team, both have won World Cup stages in this cycle as well as being world number one. Megan had a good domestic season last year and shot her way onto the team through the selection process, showing so much personality and composure.

"The men have worked incredibly hard this season and have developed a camaraderie that's given them so much determination and confidence. We made the call to change their preparation plan to focus on building belief and momentum ahead of the FQT. To be able to recover from losing the semi final and then convert the bronze and the last team spot showed their will to succeed as a trio.

"Both teams in the lead up to, and at the FQT, showed they can thrive on finals fields and will be looking forward to continuing that in Paris."

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