Policeman, plumber, school-kid in Oz archery team
Melbourne: A policeman, a plumber, an apprentice mechanic and a school kid make for an interesting mix of archers picked in Australia`s 12-strong team for the Delhi Commonwealth Games in October.
Archery will make only its second appearance at the Commonwealth Games following its debut in Brisbane in 1982.
Eight gold medals in total will be on offer for men and women in the individual recurve, team recurve, individual compound and team compound events.
The Australian contingent will be led by three-time Olympian Matthew Gray, an officer with the water police in New South Wales, the Australian Commonwealth Games Federation said in a statement.
A member of the 1999 world indoor championships gold medal winning team, the 37-year-old first took up the sport thirty years ago at the age of seven when his father bought him a bow at a local garage sale.
Gray will compete in the recurve event alongside Perth school student Taylor Worth who recently won the US Open championships, Mathew Masonwells, Dawn Nelson, Alexandra Feeney and Deonne Bridger from Western Australia.
Thirty-eight year-old Bridger, who competed at the 1996 Atlanta and 2004 Olympics, was the archery team section manager in Beijing but will make her return to the other side of the fence in Delhi.
The Australian compound contingent will be spearheaded by 2003 world target champion Clint Freeman and 2008 World Cup winner Patrick Coghlan, and also includes plumber Robert Timms, Fiona Hyde, apprentice mechanic Rebecca Darby and Cassie McCall.
Australian head coach Simon Fairweather said the Australian archers have faced an intensive year of camps, trials and overseas competition in order to be selected.
"The members of this year`s squad have shot over 100 matches in preparation for the Games. This is far more match practice than any previous Australian team has ever done prior to an event and I feel that it will stand our archers in good stead once we get to Delhi," he said.
"This year we are most strong in the compound division, particularly the men. The team includes Clint Freeman who was the 2003 world target champion, Pat Coghlan, a World Cup finalist in 2009, and Robert Timms who has produced fantastic results and consistency throughout the selection process," Fairweather added.
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