GREAT NEWS FOR THE SMART ARCHERS!
Following their gold medals at the Junior National Outdoor Archery Championship in July, brothers Johnny and Bert Smart, in Year 13 and Year 8, competed in the UK Junior Masters competition held at Deer Park Archers in Cheltenham.
To enter this competition, archers need to have attained the standard of Junior Master Bowmen at least three times in competition. This means that unlike other ‘open’ competitions, the standard is often much higher.
In the recurve competition, Johnny ranked second in the qualification round and made his way into the head-to-head final through a tricky semi-final where he beat one of this year’s GB international Youth team. Despite being stung by a bee at 2-4 down, he came back to win 6-4. In the final he was beaten on a one-arrow shoot off having tied at 5-5. Both Johnny and his opponent shot tens and required a measure with the judge’s callipers to decide the medals; silver for Johnny by a couple of millimetres – about as close and exciting as archery gets.
Bert competed with the U18s in the compound competition and despite being beaten, shot with the very best Under 18 compound archers in the country and he learnt a lot of useful stuff about himself and his bow. He was knocked out in the quarter final by the eventual winner. He’s been shooting very well since his return and is preparing well for the forthcoming Inter-counties match at Eccles where he’ll be representing Yorkshire alongside an Under 18 Youth International archer from Hull.
Johnny had been selected for the county team, however, he has also been selected for the National Age Group Academy and will attend the first winter residential at Lilleshall in October. The new age-group changes to be in-line with World Archery mean that from 1st January Johnny becomes Under 21; he has a great chance of getting in the senior county team next year.
(Photo credits Pete Sisson, Deer Park Archers)