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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 August 2007, 13:55 GMT 14:55 UK
Terry taking aim again
By Peter Jones

Among the British archers taking part in this week's Olympic test event in Beijing is a 1992 Games medallist making a remarkable comeback.

Simon Terry won two bronzes in Barcelona before drifting out of the sport for 12 years, but is now aiming to qualify for Beijing.

The Scot is one of only three British men to win an Olympic archery medal in individual competition.

GB archer Simon Terry
Back in the groove - Simon Terry in action for Team GB this year

William Dod and Reginald Brooks King won gold and silver respectively back in 1908, when the Games were held in London, and only 32 archers from three countries took part.

Fast forward 84 years, and the teenaged Terry won the men's bronze in Barcelona, adding another alongside Richard Priestman and Steven Hallard in the team event.

But less than two years later, archery was no longer on his radar, and more than a decade would pass before he picked up a bow again.

"Barcelona was fantastic, and winning two medals at the Olympics was what I'd been working up to since I was nine years old," said Terry, now 33.

"I was 18, and all I'd done was archery since I was nine - school and archery, archery and school.

"For one reason or another, the following year I didn't shoot quite as well, so I simply packed it in. I just wanted to have a bit of a life, really, and try different sports, like rugby."

To be honest, the Olympics didn't come into my mind when I returned to the sport, but Beijing is definitely my goal now

Simon Terry

Three years ago, Terry was delighted to watch his former GB team-mate Alison Williamson win bronze at the Athens Olympics.

But even then, returning to the sport had not even crossed his mind until a chance meeting with a friend, who invited him to take part in a shoot at his local club in Grantham.

"I thought 'Why not?'. So I emptied my bag, which I hadn't used since Barcelona - I was expecting mice to run out, to be honest!"

Terry soon became hooked again, and three years on, he is an regular international once more, a medal winner, and took fourth place at the recent World Championships in Leipzig.

"It probably took me four months between starting again and thinking I could get back to international level if I really knuckled down and worked hard," he said.

"I was missing the finer points that are back now - the finesse and technique that gets you back up the rankings doesn't return overnight.

"In the last three to four months it has really been coming together, especially with the head-to-heads, and I was pleased to finish fourth in World Championships.

Simon Terry at the 1992 Olympics
A fresh-faced Terry made a big impact at the 1992 Games
"That said, I was disappointed to lose my semi-final, and then lose to Alan (GB team-mate Alan Wills) in the bronze medal match, but he shot fantastically well."

For all international archers, the focus is now on Beijing.

"Obviously it will be wonderful to qualify for another Olympics, and I believe we can do well individually, and give the Koreans a run for their money in team event," Terry said.

"To be honest, the Olympics didn't come into my mind when I returned to the sport, but Beijing is definitely my goal now."

Terry has had to totally change his lifestyle in the past year. No more rugby, and nights out with 'the lads' are few and far between.

"You get out of it what you put into it, and obviously with all the shoots I do abroad, it means I have to take a lot of time off work," he said.

"But happily my employers - I drive a truck for MC Mountain of Sleaford - have been very good to me, and they give me a lot of time off, though it's unpaid leave.

"I can't thank them enough, and without their support I'd be struggling. But competing again at international level is a decision I've made, and shooting in Beijing next year will make it all worthwhile."



SEE ALSO
Simon Terry - Archery
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British women take World Cup gold
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Archery duo guarantee GB silver
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Wills pips GB team-mate to bronze
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GB teams secure silver and bronze
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Williamson on target for 2012?
21 May 07 |  Other Sport...


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