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Page last updated at 15:51 GMT, Thursday, 11 March 2010

England's archers win Commonwealth Games test golds


England's archers have won two gold medals and a bronze at the Commonwealth Games test tournament in Delhi.

The women's compound team of Andrea Gales, Nicky Hunt and Nichola Simpson beat India in a nail-biting shoot-out.

The men's trio of James Forbes, James Bingham and Mark Franklin were always ahead as they beat Malaysia.

The men's recurve team of Lee Williams, Rob Hallworth and Jon Shales lost to eventual winners India in the last four but saw off Scotland to finish third.

"It's been a great performance by our archers, and this is all boding well for the year ahead," said team manager Hilda Gibson.

Archery is making only its second appearance at the Commonwealth Games after first being included at Brisbane in 1982 when England's Mark Blenkarne won the men's competition.

We wanted to come here to see what the facilities are like ahead of the Commonwealth Games and everything has been really good

Nichola Simpson

The compound discipline is part of the Commonwealth programme even though it does not feature in the Olympic competition, as recurve does.

Despite winning bronze, Williams, Hallworth and Shales are unlikely to compete at the Commonwealths with more established recurve archers such as Simon Terry, Alan Wills and Larry Godfrey expected to come in.

They missed the test event under the instruction of new British team coach Lloyd Brown who wanted to focus on the World Cup series which starts in May.

The women's compound trio of Gales, Hunt and Simpson could well stick together though after coming from behind to beat India.


Hunt and Simpson are ranked fifth and 12th in the world respectively and they proved their mettle after trailing 111-109 at the halfway stage of the final.

The trio drew level by edging the third of the four ends 59-57. The final end was tied at 54-each to set up a three-arrow shoot-out.

The English women all hit maximum 10s while the Indians crumpled under the pressure and scored two eights and a nine.

Oxford-based Simpson said: "We had a bit of a glitch in the middle of the final, but then went a bit stronger and pulled it together when we had to at the end.

"We wanted to come here to see what the facilities are like ahead of the Commonwealth Games and everything has been really good."

The men's compound team held a four-point advantage going into the last end of six arrows and they held on to win 232-229.

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