Credit: Lizzy Foster
GB team win 3 Gold and 2 Silver Medals on home soil
The GB Archery team started their 2023 season with a bang and delighted a home crowd to successfully beat some of the best in Europe to win 3 gold, and 2 silver medals at the European Grand Prix event held in Lilleshall, Shropshire.
The final day of the week-long event showcased some fantastic finals which included the GB Compound Women’s Team of Ella Gibson, Jess Stretton, and Lizzy Foster skilfully securing their gold medal by winning a nail-biting final that finished 230-229.
An exciting showdown followed in the Compound Mixed Team gold medal match, with Kai Thomas-Prause and Ella Gibson representing GB against Luxembourg. Despite a valiant effort, GB narrowly missed out on the gold, losing 154-157 to the Luxembourg team. Nevertheless, Kai Thomas-Prause expressed his joy at getting to shoot in front of a home crowd, saying, “It’s really nice to shoot on the Orangery with the home crowd - everyone shouting our names and cheering us on. Obviously, we’re a bit disappointed not to get the gold but I'm happy.”
Ella Gibson continued her winning streak in the Compound Women's Finals, facing off against Mariya Shkolna from Luxembourg. After a draw in the first set, Ella pulled ahead in the subsequent sets, ultimately winning 145-143 and adding another gold medal to her achievements.
In the Recurve Mixed Team gold medal finals, Tom Hall and Penny Healey represented GB against the Netherlands. GB took an early lead with a brilliant opening set, but the Dutch team fought back, resulting in a draw after three sets. The tension was palpable, but despite a strong finish, GB had to settle for the silver medal, with the Netherlands taking gold.
Penny Healey, in her final match of the tournament, competed against Germany's Elina Idensen in the Recurve Women's Final. After a draw in the first set, Penny pulled ahead and secured a comfortable win with a final score of 7-1 in her favour. Penny was absolutely overjoyed to be named champion, she commented, “It feels amazing to do this in front of my family and especially on home turf, it has a special place in my heart now.”
The GB team’s success at the European Grand Prix has not only proven the team’s strength for the season ahead but, also successfully secured the Recurve Women’s Team a vital quota spot to join the GB Recurve Men’s Team at the European Games later this year where archers can gain Olympic quota places.