Australian archery team announced for Beijing Olympics


Australian archery team announced for Beijing Olympics

Feb 08: Sky Kim, Matt Gray, Michael Naray, Lexie Feeney and Jane Waller have been selected to represent Australia in archery at Beijing. The Australian Olympic Committee today announced at a press conference at the Archery Training Centre, AIS Canberra, the five selected in Australia's archery team. They are Korean-born Kim, Gray, 35 and Naray, 38 who were selected in the men's team event and each will also compete in the men's individual with Feeney and Waller - both girls will be just 18, come Olympic time - to contest the women's individual.

Sky Kim is rated Australia's strongest medal hope in archery at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Kim, 25, is regarded as a strong medal contender on the basis of his victory in the Beijing Test Event in 2007 after a marathon single arrow shoot off against Chu Sian Cheng of Malaysia, securing Australia a spot for this year's Games.

"I am definitely looking for a medal," Kim said. "I feel like I could get gold." Kim, who won the Korean national title in 2004, but was not selected for the Athens Olympics and moved to Australia in January 2005 to be coached by Ki-Sik Lee at the AIS and is an Australian citizen.

All five members of the archery team have had consistent results leading up to selection.

Hopes are high Australia could claim a third consecutive Olympic medal - Australia has won archery medals at the past two Olympics - Simon Fairweather, Gold medallist at Sydney 2000 and Tim Cuddihy, Bronze medallist at Athens 2004.

The men's team is capable of pushing for the podium. The competition for selection was so strong, Cuddihy and team-mate David Barnes did not qualify after the three selection shoots.

There will be four archery events at the Beijing Games. Archery will be held in the first week of the Games from August 9-15, at the Olympic Green Archery Field, just 500m from the Olympic Village.

Australia has been represented in archery at every Olympics since Munich 1972. Simon Fairweather won Australia's first archery medal when he won the individual men's event at Sydney 2000, nine years after being World Champion.

In Athens, four years later, Tim Cuddihy, still a schoolboy, finished third in the individual men's event.

Archery became an Olympic sport for men and women in Paris in 1900 and continued at St Louis 1904, London 1908 and Antwerp 1920, after which it was removed from the Olympic programme.

Archery was re-introduced as an Olympic sport in Munich in 1972 with men's and women's individual events. Events for three-person teams were added in Seoul in 1988.

We wish all members of our archery team every success and no doubt we will be eagerly watching our TV screens on the 9th August.

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