Bryony sets sights on World Championships

SHOREHAM archer Bryony Pitman is hoping to seal a spot in the senior World Championships in Copenhagen later this year.

Worthing Archery Club's Bryony Pitman
Worthing Archery Club's Bryony Pitman

Pitman, 17, knows the importance of performing well in the coming season if she is to book her place at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

This year also throws up some other big events for the Worthing Archery Club member, with the European Games in Baku, while World Cup team stages one and two will also take place this year in Turkey.

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Speaking about the coming season, Pitman said: “So far this year, my shooting has picked up quite a lot, I’m in the next age group (under-21) as I turn 18 next month.

“We have some big senior events, the European Games in Baku and the World Championships in Copenhagen, which I’d like to make the team for and that would also include being on the World Cup teams for stage one and two in Shanghai and Antalya.

“The teams will be decided in April, so I’m just getting my scores up now to give myself the best opportunity I can to go to those events.”

Despite competing in the World Youth Olympic Games in China last year, Pitman felt that she was below her best.

She said: “Last year wasn’t my best year in terms of results.

“I was shooting below my average in qualifications at international events and so, although I shot well in my elimination matches, I was usually put against some of the strongest competitors very early on.”

Pitman had won a place at the Youth Olympic Games in 2013. She admitted it was the highlight of her season last year, even though she suffered an opening round defeat to Guatemalen Regina Romero.

She said: “Attending the Youth Olympics was definitely the highlight of my year.

“I shot a competition-best for the 2014 season in qualification, which I was really happy with but, unfortunately, I lost my first match.

“I shot well and was just three arrows away from potentially winning but my opponent picked up her shooting and went on to beat me.

“We had a mixed team event there, too, which was one boy and one girl, usually it’s from the same country but instead they mixed us all up.

“I was with a boy from Belarus. We won our first match fairly easily but were knocked out in the next match.

“Although I didn’t shoot as well as I’d have liked, it was an amazing experience and, as a multi-sport event, it was very similar to how the Olympics would be.”

Pitman will be completing her A-Levels in the summer and is seeking a potential move to an archery training centre in Lilleshall to further her development.

She said: “I could move to the training centre in Lilleshall after my exams, which would give me the best chance to make the Rio Olympics team.

“We have to win places at the World Championships this year, either one individual place or a team place, which would be three women.

“I can only really start to think about Rio after the places have been won but it is definitely a goal of mine.”

Pitman is also hoping to book a spot in the World Junior Championships in America later this year.

The teenager will be hoping this year proves to be her busiest and most successful yet as she aims to book a place in Rio.