Gold and bronze medals for UK’s Invictus archers
The heavens opened for the first time at the Invictus Games in Toronto – but nothing was going to put British athletes off their mission to bag medals. Not even Prince Harry.
He was watching as British service personnel and veterans took two golds and a bronze at the event which celebrates wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans.
Our first medal came from Clare Langham-Phillips. The RAF Chief Technician won recurve novice bronze, following in the footsteps of her brother, medal-winning Games veteran Andy Phillips, who inspired Clare to give archery a go. The sport has given her a new focus as she faces the prospect of her 30-year career coming to an end after being diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. Teammate Poppy Pawsey finished ninth.
Army veteran Kerys Knight overcame opposition from both Canada and the USA to claim compound women’s gold. Kerys has nerve damage in her lower left leg and has to use crutches to help her walk, resulting in spinal and neck issues. She said: “I was devastated when my Army career was cut short due to injury during training. Since I was forced to give up my dream, I have always returned to the despair of never having fulfilled my passion to serve my country. Being a part of Invictus 2017 has given me a real purpose.”
There was team gold for Gareth Paterson, Matt Neve and Kieran Wood who defended the UK’s recurve title in style, overcoming a determined challenge from the USA. And Chris MacFadyen, Kerys Knight and Olaf Jones added compound team bronze.
Ken Hargreaves came so close to adding another medal to the pot, finishing fourth in the men’s novice recurve category, ahead of Callum Nugent, Dave Watts, Jack Cummings and Jonny Harvey. Compounder Chris MacFadyen finished fifth in the individual compound competition, ahead of Olaf Jones.
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Above: Gareth Paterson, Matt Neve and Kieran Wood win team recurve gold. Picture: Help for Heroes
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