Folkard hoping for fifth time lucky at Olympics

Naomi Folkard is hoping for a fifth tilt at the Olympics.
Naomi Folkard is hoping for a fifth tilt at the Olympics.

Leamington archery star Naomi Folkard has unfinished business with the Olympics.

Folkard, 35, is gunning for a fifth appearance at the Games next year in Tokyo and while she boasts medals at global and continental level, an Olympic medal still eludes her grasp.

The archer, who learnt her trade at Royal Leamington Spa Archery Society, feels in good shape with a year to go and will not rest until a place on the podium is hers.

“I’m a bit more relaxed about the Olympics this time,” said Folkard, speaking during the launch of the National Tour Finals. “Just going to the event itself is not that motivating for me, because I’ve done it so many times before.

“It’s the opportunity to be able to win an Olympic medal that motivates you. Tokyo is the time for me and if I’m ever going to do it, it’s then.

“We measure progress by medals, at the end of the day. You can measure progress in training, your scores or whatever, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t win medals.

“I’m happy with my progress. I broke a personal best that had stood for ten years at a test event recently. I’ve shot awesome, particularly in some of the team events.”

After finishing seventh in the individual competition in Rio, the three-time World Championship medallist said it would be her final Games.

But while Folkard’s spot in the trio for Tokyo is not yet guaranteed, the University of Birmingham graduate said a step up in the intensity of training and a sharpened focus on performing under pressure has given her a new lease of life ahead of another tilt at Olympic glory.

“In training we’re definitely a lot more competitive, rather than going through the motions a little bit.

“We’re more ruthless with each other now. We have a leaderboard on who has the best averages across the weeks and months, and you don’t want to be bottom.”

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