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Belfast Archer Headed to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Courtesy of Team GB

The British Olympic Association (BOA) has confirmed the selection of the six archers who will represent Team GB at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Among them is four-time Olympian Naomi Folkard and Patrick Huston, who will compete in his second Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Sarah Bettles, Bryony Pitman, Tom Hall and James Woodgate will each make their Olympic debuts In Tokyo this summer at the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field from 23-31 July.

Folkard is an experienced member of the team having competed at the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games. From Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, Folkard has medalled at the last two World Championships, earning bronze in both the recurve mixed team and recurve women’s team, and has also medalled at World Cups, World Games, Commonwealth Games and European Games, as well as the World Field Championships in 2018 where she took home silver.

Patrick Huston, Belfast

Huston previously represented Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after winning bronze at the 2016 European Championships. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Huston won silver and bronze with mixed team partner Folkard at the European Games in 2019 and World Championships in 2017, respectively. He won the individual silver medal and team bronze at the European Field Championships in 2017 and was part of the bronze winning team at the Archery World Cup in Antalya 2018.

Despite Tokyo being her first Olympic outing, Essex-born Bettles won gold as part of Team GB in the women’s recurve team event at the 2019 European Games and was part of the team that won bronze at the World Archery Championships in 2019.

Pitman, from Shoreham in West Sussex, is the youngest member of the women’s team but was also part of the bronze winning team at the 2019 World Archery Championships and, in 2019, she also won gold as part of the women’s recurve team at the European Games. Although Tokyo will be Pitman’s first Olympic Games, she has previously competed at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.

Currently ranked number one in the UK, Hall was part of the team that secured the Olympic quota places in 2019 alongside Huston and was also a member of the bronze winning team at the Archery World Cup in 2018. Originally from Kenilworth, Warwickshire, he took up archery at university and went on to represent Great Britain at the World University Championships twice, as well as the World University Games.

At just 18, Woodgate is the youngest member of the archery team to be selected for Tokyo but has already amassed a wealth of experience having picked up the sport at the age of seven. He started competing at the age of nine in his hometown of Woking in Surrey and shot at the World Youth Championships in the recurve cadet men’s division in 2019.

Selected Team GB archers for Tokyo 2020:

Men:

  • Tom Hall, from Kenilworth, Warkwickshire
  • Patrick Huston, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • James Woodgate, Woking, Surrey

Women:

  • Sarah Bettles, Essex
  • Naomi Folkard, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
  • Bryony Pitman, Shoreham in West Sussex

Really Very Exciting

Mark England, Team GB Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, commented: “I’d like to congratulate all six athletes on their selection to Team GB for Tokyo. It is quite unique to have a team made up of such a mix of experience – from an athlete set to participate in their fifth Olympic Games, to one who is taking a gap year from their university studies to focus on becoming an Olympian. That really is very exciting.

“As one of the first sports to get Team GB underway in Tokyo, we’re really looking forward to seeing the general public get behind each and every one of these athletes who will no doubt put on an inspirational display when they take to the field this summer.”

David Tillotson, Archery Team Leader for Tokyo, said: “Like all sports and athletes we have had to adapt to a delayed Games year and worked hard on our flexibility and resilience in these uncertain and complex times. With this very talented group of athletes, our Games ambitions remain firmly in place and we are resolved and excited to deliver performances that will cast a bright and inspiring light on British archery.

“Being on so early in the Games programme gives us a great opportunity to lead Team GB off in a successful Olympic Games.”

Archery joins shooting, triathlon, sport climbing, canoe, swimming and athletics and sailing as the first sports to announce the athletes selected to Team GB for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which will take place from 23 July to 8 August 2021.    

Football

Mayor Welcomes New Stand at Greenisland Football Club

Pictured is Mayor Councillor Peter Johnston, Deputy Mayor Andrew Wilson, Cllr Bobby Hadden, MEABC Director of Operations Philip Thompson and Mervyn Montgomery, Greenisland Football Club.

Mayor, Cllr Peter Johnston along with Deputy Mayor, Cllr Andrew Wilson and Cllr Bobby Hadden visited Greenisland Football Club to see the commencement of the works to provide a new 128-seater spectator stand and turnstiles, which will bring the grounds up to meet Intermediate League status requirements.

Mid and East Antrim Council in partnership with Greenisland Football Club have been working together to deliver this new stand. Through working in partnership, the club have been able to secure £45,000 of external funding and along with a contribution from the club Council are contributing £35,000 to deliver the £90,000 spectator stand.

Mayor, Cllr Peter Johnston said: Once again, I would like to pay tribute to Greenisland Football Club and in particular the time and commitment that the club members put into progressing this project.

“As a Council, we have been delighted to help fund a portion of this work and to enable the vision and objectives of the club to be met.

“Greenisland Football Club are a fantastic club and it is no surprise that they have recently been recognised from UEFA as one of the top grass roots football clubs in Europe.”

Mervyn Montgomery, Greenisland Football Club said: “We are indebted to the on-going support of our External Funders and Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, to enable us to build upon the existing facilities at Greenisland and to develop further our Community Sports Programs and Longer Terms Plans for the Club.”

This new stand will further enhance the major investment Mid and East Antrim Council made in 2018 through the delivery of a new 3G facility on the back of £100,000 of funding the club secured from SportNI.

The Club and Council had also secured external funding to upgrade the grass pitches, which are owned by the Council, in 2018 at a cost of £50,000.

Mid and East Antrim Council are committed to working with all groups within the borough to ensure that our ratepayers and residents have top class facilities which will improve their quality of life and their health and well-being.

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Sport

Daley and Laugher Amongst GB Divers Heading for Tokyo

Tom Daley and Jack Laugher are named in a phenomenally strong 12-person diving squad heading to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in less than two months’ time.

After a terrific performance at the FINA Diving World Cup in the Japanese capital last month – a competition that also doubled up as the Olympic test event – Team GB will be represented by a full complement of divers in every single event, after the four remaining places were secured.

Laugher, reigning Olympic champion, is one of the household names selected, and he heads to Japan to defend that crown. He will also target a second Olympic medal in the individual 3m Springboard event, after taking silver in that competition five years ago.

Laugher will be joined in the synchro by Rio 2016 bronze medallist Daniel Goodfellow, with Edinburgh’s James Heatly the other pick in the 3m individual.

Daley will once again double up in Tokyo, contesting both the 10m Platform and 10m Synchro events, the latter of which he won Olympic bronze in alongside Goodfellow in Rio. Now diving with Matty Lee in the synchro event, the Jane Figueiredo-coached duo will head to Japan full of confidence, after winning both the World Cup and European Championship titles last month.

Dive London athlete Daley also famously took bronze in the individual event at London 2012, and will look for further Olympic success in Tokyo – he also has two World titles to his name in that 10m Platform event. Joining him from the high board in the individual contest will be Noah Williams, whilst Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix and Lois Toulson will go in the women’s event, with Toulson partnered by Eden Cheng in the synchro.

Grace Reid, Kat Torrance and Scarlett Mew Jensen round out the diving dozen, Reid contesting both the Women’s 3m Springboard and 3m Synchro, with Mew Jensen joining her in the former and City of Leeds’ Torrance in the latter.

Of the team heading for Tokyo, Team GB Chef de Mission, Mark England, said: “It is a huge privilege to be able to welcome this talented group of athletes onto Team GB for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“The performances we’ve consistently seen from these athletes throughout the recent World Cup and European competitions is testament to the hard work and dedication that the whole team has put in throughout what has been a very challenging year. Everyone who supports Team GB will be buoyed by what this team has achieved in recent weeks and will have every confidence that we will see more of these medal winning performances in Tokyo.

“Congratulations everyone and we look forward to welcoming you to Tokyo in July.”

British Diving Performance Director, Alexei Evangulov, added: “This has been the longest Olympic cycle ever, however the hardest part of it was the last year – our team exceeded all my expectation in terms of coping with all the challenges we experienced during the pandemic. There were a lot; pools closures, isolation, quarantine, uncertainness, competitions postponements, you name it. Our divers not only managed to secure their physical and technical shape in this situation, but also significantly improved their diving quality.

“All of this, plus our coaches and staff’s professionalism allowed us to come up to the homestretch to Tokyo with a great confidence, high ambitions and belief.”

Great Britain Diving Team:

  • Eden Cheng, London, Crystal Palace Diving
  • Thomas Daley, Plymouth, Dive London
  • Daniel Goodfellow, Cambridge, City of Leeds
  • James Heatly, Edinburgh, Edinburgh Diving Club
  • Jack Laugher, Harrogate, City of Leeds
  • Matty Lee, Leeds, Dive London
  • Scarlett Mew Jensen, London, Dive London
  • Grace Reid, Edinburgh, Dive London
  • Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix, London, Crystal Palace Diving
  • Katherine Torrance, Leeds, City of Leeds
  • Lois Toulson, Leeds, City of Leeds
  • Noah Williams, London, Dive London

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