Nicky Hunt excited about future of Team GB Archery and retains Olympic dream

Nicky Hunt

Nicky Hunt - Credit: Archant

Nicky Hunt says a change of philosophy at the top of British archery is a positive step forward in her quest to make next year’s Rio Olympics.

The Kesgrave archer won silver at the Great Britain National Championships earlier this month but faces a fight to make the Olympic squad after failing to earn a quota place at the World Championships in Copenhagen earlier this year.

Hunt, who competes in the recurve discipline, has qualified for the next Great Britain selection shoot which, if she is successful, would then see her move forward to the European Championships in Nottingham and the World Cup in Turkey, where quota places will be at stake.

After the disappointment in Denmark – Hunt was unsuccessful in both the team and individual events – new Archery GB performance director David Tillotson got to work and appointed a new Senior Olympic coach in the form of the vastly-experienced Richard Priestman.

The new direction has been ‘liberating’ for Hunt, who is excited about the coming year and hopes to reach the pinnacle in her sport.

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The 2010 double Commonwealth Games gold winner in the compound event, said: “As a whole for Great Britain, it was slightly disappointing that we didn’t earn any quota spaces at the World Championships.

“We have had a big change since then.

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“The new performance director did not want to make any changes before the World Championships, but has now brought in a new coach, in Richard Priestman, who won two Olympic bronzes, in 1988 and 1992, and works closely with my coach Songi Woo.

“He has been coaching in South Africa, working very closely to try and earn quota spots for their team, and it’s a really exciting time.

“The new performance director has brought a different approach to the programme, which was previously very centralised and one that everyone followed.

“It’s now about the individual and getting the best performance out of each person.

“The change of philosophy is exciting, the focus is back on me, and it’s been very liberating.”

Given Hunt’s ambitions for the new year, the 30-year-old will be resisting temptation to celebrate the festive period too much.

Asked if she would be taking time of for Christmas, Hunt replied: “Not at all.

“I am going to be training all the way through for the next eight or nine months.

“The last five years I have been completely dedicated to this (Olympics), everything I have worked for has been for this.

“I can’t control the outcome but I will make sure I leave no stone unturned and come out with no regrets.”

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