Olympian Folkard all set for fifth Games

Olympian Folkard all set for fifth Games
By Sportsbeat

25/10/2019 at 17:51

Four-time British Olympian Naomi Folkard may be heading into the final Games of her career, but she says she's looking forward to Tokyo just as much as any of her previous appearances at the historic competition.

The formidable Folkard will spearhead a three-pronged British attack at the Games in Japan, her fifth consecutive appearance and looking to build on her personal best seventh-place finish in Rio in 2016.

Despite only winning silver in this weekend's National Tour Finals at Caldicot Castle, the Leamington Spa-born shooter enjoyed a remarkable outdoor season, winning team bronze in the World Championships in Hertogenbosch followed by gold at the European Games in Minsk.

And with the countdown to Tokyo intensifying, she said she's excited about the prospect of joining forces with two other shooters in a capacity size British quota.

"What will be awesome about this time will be that we have a full team and I'm not going to be on my own there shooting," the 36-year-old said.

"Patrick [Huston] was in Rio as well but all of my sessions were first thing in the mornings and he was always in the evenings and we never saw each other.

"But I've actually got a team to be with this time, so I'm definitely looking forward to that camaraderie and team spirit.

"Hopefully we can use that to win a team medal, and that would be awesome.

"I did say after Rio they would be my last Olympics, but after my holiday next week it's a steam train towards Tokyo.

"This will definitely be my last Olympic Games, but I'll keep shooting afterwards for sure."

Folkard, Bryony Pitman and Sarah Bettles - who came third and fourth respectively in the Tour Finals - currently make up the three-strong British contingent with the sufficient number of points required for selection.

And it was that triumvirate that secured the three selection spots, winning the team bronze in the Netherlands and then gold in Belarus after they beat the hosts 6-2 in sets in the final of the 70m recurve event.

And Folkard reflected fondly on what was one of her most successful seasons on the international circuit.

"This season has been really, really good for me - I finished the World Championships with a team bronze medal and a team space for Tokyo, and then we followed that with a gold team medal at the European Games," she added.

"I also had a silver mixed team medal at the European Games as well, so that was an awesome month for me.

"And to be able to shoot in these Tour Finals in front of people is really invaluable experience before we go to Tokyo and other World Cup events."

Sportsbeat 2019