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Potts hits the ground running post Rio

23 March 2017

ARCHERY: After years and years of preparation culminated in archer Alec Potts realising his dream of standing on the Olympic podium, you think the first thing he would want to do when he returned home was put his feet up and relax.

Not Potts though.

With the adrenaline still running high after claiming team archery bronze at Rio, the 20-year-old decided to get straight back out on the field and continue doing what he loves.

“I didn’t really stop competing after Rio,” Potts said.

“A week after I landed I broke the national record with a 687/720 and then went on to win Nationals. I’ll be honest I wasn’t really training a whole lot, but competitions are still fun.”

Potts and his teammates Ryan Tyack and Taylor Worth’s achievements will go down in Australian Olympic history as the trio became the first athletes to win an Olympic team archery medal in the green and gold.

The young Australians performed exceptionally on the opening day of Rio competition and deserved the amazing reception they received on their return home.

“It was pretty cool to come back as a medallist, especially landing at Melbourne airport wearing my medal and seeing my family again, that was awesome.

“But I think I was honestly looking forward to working again. I’ve enjoyed getting back into Eliza Archery (his archery shop) and heading off to schools to teach the sport and talk about the Olympics.”

After his success at the National Championships he headed to Las Vegas in early 2017 where everything finally caught up with him.

“Vegas itself was great fun, but I didn’t really enjoy shooting so much at that tournament.

“I think I was a little burnt out after the Games, and since then I’ve been trying to find some time off even though it’s difficult now we’re moving into the qualifying periods for World Cups and the World Championships.

“I’m just taking it slow and trying not to push myself too hard.”

After taking a step back, Potts lined up against his Rio teammates at the Australian Open at the beginning of March where he performed well eventually going down in the final to Tyack.

He’s now looking ahead to the international season.

“I’ll be heading off to World Cup 1 (Beijing) later this year and hopefully World Cup 4 (Berlin) and the World Championships (Mexico City).

“Each of these has a team component but I’ve got to make the top three on that day to be eligible. Team’s is still my favourite part of the competition and I’m looking forward to getting back to it.”

It is at these events where Potts will hope to use everything he learned at Rio to continue his success on the international stage.

“I think the Olympics has given me a better perspective and understanding of my performance under pressure, and ways to manage myself in that kind of environment.

“I wouldn’t say I’ll be more confident, but I’ll definitely have a better understanding of what it takes to perform.”

And as for his relationship with his two teammates he will forever be written into the history books with?

“I’m in contact with Ryan pretty regularly and Taylor’s pretty busy having just got engaged - congrats Taylor! We all still get on really well and Ryan and myself will both be heading to World Cup 1.”

The opening World Cup event takes place in mid-May.

Matt Bartolo

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