Australia and Olympic Archery
Australia has been represented in archery at every Olympics since its return in Munich 1972. South Australia’s Simon Fairweather won the gold medal in the individual men’s event at Sydney 2000, nine years after being the World Champion. In Athens four years later Tim Cuddihy, still a schoolboy, finished third in the same event.
For many years it was thought that Donald MacKintosh had won Australia’s first archery medal, a gold, in the game shooting event at Paris in 1900. It took almost 90 years for it to be confirmed that the game shooting was in fact a shooting not archery event.
Taylor Worth and Elisa Barnard competed in the men’s and women’s individual events at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground. Having beaten world number one Brady Allison of the USA to make the round of 16, Worth lost in a sudden death shoot off and just missed out on the quarter finals. Barnard was knocked out in her opening match after the ranking round.
Four years later at Rio, Worth returned to Olympic competition where he lined up alongside debutants Ryan Tyack and Alec Potts in the men's team event. The trio would make history at the iconic Sambodromo winning the nation's first Olympic team archery medal after defeating China to claim bronze. Worth went on to record Australia's best result in the men's singles competition, going down in a shoot-off in the quarter-finals. After overcoming illness, Alice Ingley was Australia's sole female representative at Rio where she was knocked out in the second round.
Archery first appeared in the Olympic Games in 1900, was contested again in 1904, 1908 and 1920. After an absence of 52 years, archery returned to the Olympic programme in Munich 1972 and events for three-person teams were added in Seoul 1988. Recurve events are the only style contested at the Olympic Games.
Archers shoot their arrows from a distance of 70m, aiming at targets 122cm in diameter, marked with 10 concentric rings.
Points are scored by hitting a target consisting of five coloured rings. The closer the arrow lands to the centre of the target, the higher the score achieved.
The centre ring, or bullseye, measures 12.2 centimetres in diameter, and counts 10 points. The outer ring counts one, and the rings in between increase by one point in value as they near the centre.
Archers, or teams, compete in head-to-head matches in single elimination after being ranked from one to 64, following a 72-arrow qualification round. Matches are 18 arrows at and from the quarter-finals on are 12 arrows. The semi-finals winners decide the gold and silver medals in the final, and the semi-finals losers shoot for the bronze.