Archery GB announces updates to the Tokyo 2021 selection process
Following the unprecedented decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC,) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games by 12 months, Archery GB has had to consider the impact on the respective team selection processes.
This has led to some changes to the relevant selection policies, to enable the selection of athletes which will maximise Archery GB’s medal opportunities in both the individual and team events at the Tokyo 2021 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The medal targets for both teams remain unchanged and all evidence demonstrates that medal targets are more likely to be achieved by athletes with a proven international medal record. The new selection policies have been developed in collaboration with key coaching and technical staff, athletes, UK Sport, the British Athletes Commission (BAC) and the process has been validated by the British Olympic Association (BOA) and British Paralympic Association (BOA) as well as an independent high-performance arbiter.
The selection process for both teams has been revised to ensure it’s fair, balanced and clear, and takes into consideration the uncertainty around when international competitions will resume. Due to the additional challenges the postponement of the Games brings, it is essential that we are able to nominate at the earliest opportunity for the spots we have already secured, or go on to secure in the future. This maximises the opportunity and time spent working with the nominated athletes before the games. For fairness to those athletes that have already obtained scores, we will be honoring the scores that have been achieved within the selection window.
Tokyo Olympic Selection
The Olympic selection process started on 9 March 2020 which marked the closing date for the submission of selection shoot scores, and should have concluded by 31 March 2020. At that point, seven athletes (three women and four men) had achieved the required scores. Therefore, the Olympic selection process was only partially complete before the national and international shutdown, and subsequent postponement of the Olympic Games, with three women able to be nominated to the BOA for selection to the team, and four men remaining eligible to take part in the required selection shoot.
The three female athletes, Sarah Bettles, Naomi Folkard and Bryony Pitman will remain nominated to the BOA for selection for the Tokyo Olympic Games as long as they maintain form and fitness. Along with the 2021 World Cups and European/World Championships as they are arranged (it doesn’t mean they will necessarily attend both the other two major events of the year).
The four male athletes, Tom Barber, Tom Hall, Patrick Huston and Alex Wise will remain eligible to participate in a men’s selection shoot for the Tokyo Olympic Games. The selection shoot will follow the same format as originally published, but at a date and venue still to be arranged (likely to be Spring 2021). On completion of the men’s selection shoot, the top three men on a cumulative points basis will be nominated for selection for the Tokyo Olympic Games, along with the 2021 World Cups, and European/World Championships as they are rearranged. (It doesn’t mean they will necessarily attend both the other two major events of the year).
Selection of Reserve Olympic athletes
Due to the extraordinary national and international circumstances and the uncertainty of archery returning to domestic and international competition normality, it is proposed to revise the existing Olympic selection document regarding Reserves with the addition of a standby status.
- Three standby athletes per squad (men and women) will be nominated to maintain form and fitness over the coming year.
- One male standby will be the athlete that comes fourth in the men’s selection shoot. This athlete will also be nominated as the first Reserve. (Male standby athletes may be directly or indirectly involved in the selection shoot in order to provide further international level competition exposure and experience.)
- As per the existing selection document, the National Coach will make recommendations to the Director of Sport and the independent arbiter(s) for the five remaining standby positions. These will continue to be based on objective competitive performance standards on the international stage and athletes contributing to the international competitiveness of the team.
- These athletes will be invited to accept the opportunity and then follow the necessary training and competition programme commensurate with achieving the necessary performance levels. This plan and commitment will be reviewed on an agreed basis.
- All standby archers will be invited to train as part of the Olympic Squad and will be invited to attend agreed international competition opportunities.
- Through the above process and in meeting the above objective standards, one female Standby athlete will become the first Reserve.
- All Standby athletes remain eligible for nomination to the BOA for selection to the Tokyo Olympic Games up until 5 July 2021, should any of the athletes selected by the earlier selection processes be deemed not to have maintained fitness and form as outlined in the selection policy.
- Timescales are to be determined once World Archery has announced a return to competition and the international schedule is known.
- The final date for the BOA’s Sports Entries is 5 July 2021.
On the above basis, the following athletes have been invited to accept their nomination as Standbys within the Archery Olympic Squad 2020-2021:
- Yulia Larkins
- Eleanor Piper
- Louisa Piper
- Keith Harding
- James Woodgate
All other athletes that formed part of the Olympic Ambitions Squad will remain a part of the Performance Pathway, but will now focus on their preparation for the Paris Games in 2024.
The full Olympic Selection Policy is in the process of being validated by the BOA and will be published shortly.
Tokyo Paralympic Selection
In phase one of selection, we have four athletes who satisfy the criteria for automatic nomination to the BPA for the Paralympic team and one athlete who will be considered for nomination by the selection panel.
The four athletes who satisfy the criteria for automatic nomination are:
- Jessica Stretton – Compound Women Open
- Nathan MacQueen – Compound Men Open
- John Stubbs – Compound Men Open
- Dave Phillips – Recurve Men Open
The athlete who will be considered for nomination by the selection panel is:
- Hazel Chaisty – Recurve Women Open
It is proposed the phase one nomination panel will take place in June 2020 to ratify all nominations for this phase.
Phases two and three have not yet commenced owing to the postponement of the 2020 Continental Qualifying Tournament and Final Qualifying Tournament. The athletes who were originally selected for the 2020 Continental Qualifying Tournament will be given the opportunity to be automatically allocated the quota spot if they are eligible to win it at the Continental Qualifying Tournament and as long as they have achieved all the required selection score criteria and meet all the points of eligibility. There are still five quota places available to win in 2021:
1 x Compound Women Open Quota Place
1 x Recurve Women Open Quota Place
1 x Recurve Men Open Quota Place
1 x W1 Women Quota Place
1 x W1 Men Quota Place
The full Paralympic Selection Policy can be found here.
For Archery GB’s latest advice and guidance about returning to sport during the pandemic, please see our dedicated Covid-19 webpage.