Overhaul of British squad heading into post-Olympic season
The British squad for next week’s season opener in Antalya will arrive missing two stalwarts of the programme.
Five-time Olympian Naomi Folkard has, after rolling back a previous retirement announcement to return for Tokyo 2020, finally stepped away from the team, while Archery GB recently announced the departure of head coach Richard Priestman.
Priestman joined a struggling British squad to qualify two last-minute quotas for Rio 2016 and oversaw teams that secured a surprise full roster of six spots for Tokyo.
However, with few recent medal successes outside of a recurve women’s team bronze at the worlds in 2019, the programme has undergone a management restructure.
That overhaul has translated to the range, too.
Without Folkard, Olympian Bryony Pitman stands as the lone experienced member of the recurve women’s line-up, although Yulia Larkins is entering her sophomore international season and Penny Healey was a surprise winner of the Indoor Archery World Series Finals in February. Jaspreet Sagoo is making her circuit debut in Antalya.
The third woman to shoot last summer in Tokyo, Sarah Bettles, withdrew from trials due to injury, reported Archery GB.
However, the recurve men’s Olympic squad – James Woodgate, Patrick Huston and Tom Hall – returns in full for 2022, alongside reserve Alex Wise.
“We’ve been making some changes over the winter with a view to how we position ourselves for the future,” said Archery GB performance director Tom Duggan.
“The event will be a good opportunity to see where we are at this stage.”
If Antalya is a status check for British recurve archers, there’ll be more expected from their compound counterparts.
Ella Gibson enters the season ranked number 13 in the world, won a silver medal at the European Championships at the same venue last summer, and has been breaking continental records of late.
Former world championship bronze medallist Adam Ravenscroft is also on the squad, alongside James Mason, Adam Carpenter, Kai Thomas-Prause, Isabelle Carpenter, Susan Corless and Layla Annison.
Antalya will also act as a selection event for the British recurves ahead of this year’s European Championships.
The international season begins on 18-24 April with the first stage of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya, Turkey.
British team for season opener
As of an announcement from Archery GB on 14 April 2022.
- Alex Wise
- James Woodgate
- Patrick Huston
- Tom Hall
- Bryony Pitman
- Jaspreet Sagoo
- Penny Healey
- Yulia Larkins
- Adam Ravenscroft
- James Mason
- Adam Carpenter
- Kai Thomas-Prause
- Ella Gibson
- Isabelle Carpenter
- Susan Corless
- Layla Annison