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BUCS Indoor Archery continues to see participation grow & records fall 08/02/2016

The BUCS Indoor Archery Championships returned with full force this weekend at the Telford International Centre with 715 students and 66 HE institutions lined up to compete, shooting a Portsmouth round (5 dozen arrows at a 60cm target face).

There were warm welcomes for several new clubs to the sport as archery continues its recent trend of participation increases. This year, the universities of Bradford and Liverpool ably assisted the field party when not shooting to make sure it was a success. This year's winners of the non-compound team championship were Warwick and Nottingham in the men's and women's events respectively.

The experienced recurve events were the most popular divisions as usual. Last year, Tom Hall (Warwick) won individual recurve bronze on his way to the team top spot but this year he won by shooting 591 (out of 600) to edge ahead of Derby's Jack Masefield (587) and Sherman Ip (580) of Oxford. Tom said "the bronze was a huge result for me last year but the gold is a reflection of the constant work I've been doing since then to improve. It was a different kind of pressure this year as I felt like the favourite rather than the underdog, not something I'm used to!". He made it a double gold by winning the team event too, accompanied by James Jeffs and Enrik Nako. Warwick ended up 14 points clear of Edinburgh who were a further 10 points clear of Birmingham. Tom added that he was "immensely proud of the team from Warwick, winning our third men's title in a row". The women's recurve competition was hard fought, as Nottingham were led by Elisa Gradwohl's 550 to score 1647, 7 ahead of Birmingham's 1640 while Edinburgh pipped London to bronze by two golds on 1622! The experienced women's event was won by University of East London's Jaspreet Sagoo with 575, beating Birmingham's Rebekah Tipping (569) into second (and her second silver of the weekend) and Warwick's Madeleine Meatyard who was one point further back in third.

For the first time ever there was an award for the best 2-person compound team. This was mixed gender and experience and not awarded BUCS points. The compound division has grown dramatically in recent years and this year 12 clubs entered 2-person teams. Edinburgh University won the inagurual event and took 1-2s in both the men's and women's experienced categories. Sarah Prieels shot a huge 590 for a championship record and beat teammate Hope Greenwood (580) to the women's title. In so doing, they won the team event together. Harrison Ooi shot 579 to squeak ahead of fellow Edinburgh archer Pip Tucknott on 578, who shared the silver medal with Swansea's William Shackley. There were 2 archers 1 point behind in fourth, showing how strong this division was this year.

There were increased longbow and barebow fields this year. Topping the experienced longbow categories with championship records were Alex Newnes (Aberystwyth) who shot 472 and Emily Williams (South Wales) 447. Both the experienced barebow honours on offer are on their way to Bath this year as teammates Lizzy Rees and Hugh Pearce shot 515 and 506 respectively. For both Emily and Lizzy, this was their third consecutive gold medal in their divisions in a row, a feat that not many can rival! Lizzy said "Being undefeated indoor champion makes me incredibly proud. This was the closest contest yet and I'm thrilled my hard work paid off. It's a great way to thank my coach & the University of Bath for their continual support."

In the novice trophy competitions, there was fierce competition. Jon Arnarson shot a record-breaking 558 to win the men's novice recurve title and ease his Southampton team to the novice team trophy for the first time. Jon was complimentary of the event saying "the competition was well organised and everyone there was super nice and very friendly" and on his own achievement added "we came here with high hopes and dreams, and bringing home two gold medals, [a] trophy and a BUCS record surely was a dream come true". Edinburgh's Fiona Inglis shot 529 to win the novice women's recurve title. There were also golds for Luke Suess (539, Exeter) and Jess Wallbank (527, Nottingham) in the novice compound categories while Zachary Spence (313, Loughborough) and Kara Langford (155, East Anglia) won in the novice longbow tournament. There was a large field of novice barebows this year, with Faheem Mirza (Warwick) and Silje Terland (Aberystwyth) coming out on top, shooting 501 and 486 each.

After the conclusion of another excellent BUCS Indoor Archery shoot and several records broken, it is time to look to the future. Participation in archery has grown immensely in the last 5 years with 715 entries on the starting list this year alone. There are many new faces on the shooting line in the compound, barebow and longbow categories than have been seen before, which is making those events more competitive. With growing participation in mind, there have been discussions with BUCS about potential changes to the event format in future, so keep an eye out for new information in the coming months. For now though, you can look forward to the BUCS Outdoor Archery Championships coming up in June this year!

Full results can be found here.

Photos courtesy of David Richardson.

Report written by David Williams, Communications Advisor for the BUCS Archery Advisory Group.

More information about HE archery can be found at: www.uksaa.com

For more information on the BUCS Archery events, please get in touch.

Nick Burley
Event Coordinator

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