Tokyo 2020: West Sussex archer on target for last-16 spot
Shoreham's Bryony Pitman - the youngest of the GB women's archery team at 24 and competing in her first Olympics - took to the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field in Tokyo today in the individual competition - and won through to the last 16, beating two higher ranked opponents in the process.
Following a delayed start due to the typhoon conditions passing through Japan, Pitman first beat Tan Ya-Ting the world ranked number 10 from Chinese Taipei, 6-4 showing her steely desire to win after trailing 0-4 after the first two sets.
She then faced the experienced Mexican Aida Roman, the individual Olympic silver medalist from London 2012, and again held her nerve to take her opportunities and win 6-2 in four sets.
Pitman was part of the Archery GB team that won gold at the European Games and bronze at the World Championships in 2019. She has previously competed at the Summer Youth Olympics. A graduate in History from Northumbria University,
Pitman is currently studying for a Masters degree in Intelligence and Security at Brunel University. Pitman has been shooting internationally since 2012 and is currently ranked 107 in the world.
Pitman now faces Elena Osipova of the Russian Olympic Committee for a place in the quarter final. Osipova has already won the Olympic silver medal in the Women’s Team Recurve Competition in Tokyo and won gold in both the Women's Ream Recurve and Mixed Team Recurve events at the 2021 European Archery Championship in Turkey. Another eagerly anticipated challenge for the talented Pitman.
Naomi Folkard and Sarah Bettles, the other two members of the women’s archery team in Tokyo, start their quests in the individual competition tomorrow.
Richard Priestman, Olympic Archery Coach said: “Bryony found the wind really difficult, but she prevailed. The conditions were more challenging than during the team competition days, very blustery at times. She had a nice gap in the wind for the last arrow, shot that ten, and won the match. It was an amazing moment.
"Bryony’s opponent, Aida Roman, holds for a long time and I think on some occasions, by the time she has executed the shot the wind has changed. You could see the doubt as she was running out of time, which put pressure on her, and gave Bryony a lot of opportunities.
"It shows that you don’t always need to shoot perfectly to win. It’s a competition and you just have to score more than your opponent - that’s the charm of the head to head competition, it's a battle, it’s mind games.
"She has Elena Osipova in the next round, who has been fantastic this year but struggled in the last round in this wind, so it’s an interesting match. Bryony has a realistic chance of winning, so it’s very exciting.”