TOP Leamington archer Naomi Folkard has made an excellent start to Olympic year.
The 28-year-old Great Britain international, who was fourth in the second leg of the World Indoor Cup last month, continued her good form in Las Vegas last week.
Shooting indoors over 18 metres against some of the world’s best recurve ladies, she was fourth in the World Indoor Championships and took the silver medal in the World Indoor Cup, despite suffering most of the week with an infected wisdom tooth.
Folkard qualified for the World Indoor championships in 11th place with 577 for the five dozen arrows, just seven points off the top three of Ksenia Perova (Russia), Kristine Esebua (Georgia) and Christine Bjerendal (Sweden).
It took her through into a series of knockout head-to-head matches. She shot well in winning her first three matches against Karina Winter (Germany) 6-4, Alejandra Valencia (Mexico) 6-2 and Begul Lokluoglu (Turkey) 6-5.
The match against Lokluoglu was particularly tense with both ladies scoring highly before Folkard triumphed on a single arrow tie-break.
It set up a semi-final clash against Miranda Leek (USA) in which Folkard shot well, but narrowly lost each set to go down 6-0.
Shooting for the bronze medal she came up against Perova who had qualified in first place and was shooting superbly. Folkard lost 7-1 and had to settle for fourth place.
The championships were followed by the Las Vegas Archery Festival in which hundreds of archers of differing disciplines take part.
This event incorporated the third and final leg of the FITA World Indoor Cup.
Points were gained from finishing positions in tournaments in Singapore, Nimes and Las Vegas and the top 16 qualified for a head-to-head shoot-off in Vegas for the World Cup.
Folkard, who qualified in fifth place, started with a high scoring 6-4 victory against De Giuli (Switzerland) before beating Dobromira Danailova (Bulgaria) 6-4 to book her place in the semi-finals.
She defeated long time rival Lisa Unruh (Germany) 6-4 in an exciting match to reach the final where the Russian Perova awaited.
Perova, for the second match running, finished with three 10s and despite some great shooting by Folkard, which included five 10s and seven 9s, the Russian triumphed 6-2.
Folkard will return home to step up preparations for the Olympic selection shoots in a confident mood.
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