Archery confirmed for LA 2028 Olympics

139th session of the IOC in Beijing, China

On the eve of the official opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, the International Olympic Committee has confirmed the initial sports programme of the LA 2028 Olympic Games during its 139th Session held in the Chinese capital.

The roster has a strong focus on youth – and archery was one of 28 sports that were initially proposed last December alongside traditional events like athletics and swimming, and newcomers skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing.

LA will mark the 15th consecutive edition for archery since its return to the programme in 1972.

While archery as a sport is confirmed, the medal events will not be announced until after a review held by the International Olympic Committee and LA2028. However, there is not expected to be a change from the five recurve competitions featured at Tokyo 2020 and set to remain in place for Paris 2024.

This will be the third time that Los Angeles has hosted the Olympic Games after 1932 and 1984.

Archery was not on the sports programme 90 years ago but it was in 1984. Home nation legend Darrell Pace won the recurve men’s title and Hyang-Soon Seo took gold in the recurve women’s event, which was the first for a Korean archer in the history of the Olympics and sparked the nation’s long run of dominance which lasts to this day.

The competition format in 1984 consisted of the double 1440 Round – then known as the double FITA.

Archers shot 288 arrows over four days at four different distances, 36 at a time at 70, 60, 50 and 30 metres for women, and 90, 70, 50 and 30 metres for men. It was the last time the format was used in Olympic competition and it was from those Games that the campaign to evolve archery’s event towards a more spectator-friendly presentation began to form.

Four years later, the Grand FITA would be trialled and four years after that, at Barcelona 1992, head-to-head matchplay would be introduced.

Pace, meanwhile, was named as one of the 15 ‘Best Olympic Archers of All-Time’ by World Archery in 2016.

New Zealand archer Neroli Fairhall also made sporting history in 1984 when she became the first paraplegic athlete to compete at an Olympic Games, finishing 35th in the recurve women’s event at El Dorado Park in Long Beach, California.

Fairhall was posthumously inducted into the Paralympic Hall of Fame in 2016.

Photos courtesy IOC Media.