Folkard to remain on British squad

Great Britain’s highest-placed finisher at Rio, Naomi Folkard hinted that she would be retiring from international archery competition following her fourth Olympic Games in 2016 – but, following her inclusion in Archery GB’s squad for the upcoming season, has said she will continue until the World Archery Championships in Mexico City.

“I hope the juniors will all quickly become awesome and replace me,” said Folkard. “I still enjoy shooting but I don’t want to train so much anymore as my body is starting to hurt when I train so much. If I am able to tone back my schedule and still maintain a standard, I will continue to compete.”

Folkard made her international debut in 1996 at the age of 12.

She competed at Olympics in Athens, Beijing, London and Rio, with her highest individual finish of seventh coming at the most recent of those Games. She was eliminated by eventual gold medallist Chang Hye Jin in the quarterfinals.

Her career highlights include winning the World Games in 2013, multiple world championship medals in field and target disciplines, and four silver medals at the European Championships.

The Leamington-born 33-year-old has begun to make the transition from athlete to coach.

“As I said in Rio, I want to have new life experiences, which I have started by coaching youngsters on our academy programme. I really enjoy it and it is challenging. It gives me a great new perspective for my own shooting,” said Folkard.

Great Britain announced nine athletes to its international senior squad for 2017, which is coached by two-time Olympic medallist Richard Priestman: Folkard, Sally Gilder, Bryony Pitman, Ashe Morgan, Kieran Slater, Olympian Patrick Huston, Tom Hall, Michael Judd and Alex Wise.

“There is an exciting blend of youth and experience within the squad but all have proven that they deserve to be there and are ambitious to take this opportunity. I do believe that the scores these archers have latterly begun to show will enable us to be competitive throughout 2017, building towards the World Archery Championships in Mexico in October,” said Archery GB Director of Sport David Tillotson.

Archery GB is the national governing body for archery in the UK.

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