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London 2012 Olympics qualifying: Archery

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Fruit shoot with GB archers

How qualification works:

KEY DATES: ARCHERY
2 JULY 2011
Qualification begins with start of World Championships in Italy
APRIL 2012
British team expected to be confirmed
18-24 JUNE 2012
Final Olympic qualification tournaments
1 JULY 2012
Deadline for archers to obtain minimum qualification score (see below)

Olympic archery, which features the recurve form of the sport, offers a total of four gold medals from men's and women's individual and team tournaments.

There will be 128 places at the Games available for archers - 64 for each gender.

Each nation can qualify up to three archers per gender (i.e. six in total), and those same three may also form that nation's entry for the team event.

Most archers will earn Olympic places for their country at the World Championships in Italy in 2011, and they can also do so at continental tournaments such as the European Championships.

There will be one last chance to reach the Games at a Final World Qualification tournament in June 2012, open to archers from countries yet to earn any Olympic berths. Beyond that, several invitational places may be issued at the discretion of the International Archery Federation (Fita).

It is important to bear in mind that athletes earning places for their countries have not, in doing so, qualified themselves for the Games. The final decision on who fills those places rests with their nation's governing body.

However, archers must have earned a minimum qualification score (MQS) to be nominated. They can reach this score at official Fita events between 2 July 2011 (the start of the World Championships) and 1 July 2012.

Alison Williamson
Alison Williamson is the veteran of the current GB squad

How are British competitors doing?

As the host nation, Britain automatically receives the full allocation of six individual places (as long as a GB team of at least six is entered into the 2011 World Championships, which is almost certain to happen), alongside entry to both the men's and women's team events.

Alison Williamson, 39, is aiming to compete in her sixth consecutive Olympic Games and remains Britain's top female recurve archer.

Williamson was ranked 18th in the world at the end of 2010, in a list dominated by Korean archers, with team-mates Naomi Folkard 38th, Amy Oliver 67th and Charlotte Burgess 69th.

Oliver and Burgess look set for a dramatic scrap for the third place in the women's entry for London 2012, behind Williamson and Folkard.

Simon Terry can lay claim to being the top-ranked British Olympic archer, standing ninth in the men's rankings.

Larry Godfrey and Alan Wills are ranked 33rd and 34th respectively, and those three appear likely to form the British men's contingent for London.

Archery GB's selection policy for London 2012 says archers will be chosen based on four criteria: performance from April to November 2011, their profile, their 2011 Fita ranking, and their attitude in training.

The archers will find out who is going to the Games in late April 2012, though this will not be made public by the British Olympic Association until a later date.



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