TWO of Leamington’s top sporting stars begin their bid for Olympic Games glory at the weekend.
Naomi Folkard, who is competing in her third Olympics, will be aiming for gold in both the team and individual archery tournaments which take place at Lord’s.
Folkard, who will be joined by six-time Olympian Alison Williamson and Amy Oliver in the GB team, starts her mission for a medal in the qualification rounds tomorrow (Friday) ahead of the opening ceremony.
The current GB trio will be aiming to go one better than when they won a team silver medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Folkard, Williamson and Charlotte Burgess agonisingly missed out on a medal in Beijing four years ago when finishing fourth so they do have a realistic chance in the team event which gets under way on Sunday (July 29).
The GB girls fce a tough test in the individual competition which runs from Monday (July 30) to Friday, August 3 and is usually dominated by the Chinese and Koreans.
Folkard, 28, did finish 11th overall in Athens in 2004 when she was the youngest member of the GB squad and will be hoping that home advantage leads to an improvement.
Folkard, 28, said: “Walking out at Lord’s in front of a packed crowd will be just an amazing experience.
“It was fantastic at the Test event last year when we performed virtually behind closed doors, but with 5,000 people cheering you on when you walk out will be something else, and I am very privileged.”
“Individually we’re all capable of competing with the very best and, as a team, the three of us won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games, so why not an Olympic medal.”
Meanwhile, 24-year-old Lillington ace Kelly Sibley is eager to produce a good performance in the table tennis which takes place at the ExCel Centre.
Britain has never won a table tennis medal since the sport was introduced into the Olympics in 1988 but that statistic means nothing to Sibley who is joined by Joanne Parker and Na Liu in the GB team.
A determined Sibley said: “I definitely think I can help us win a medal and make history. If you don’t think it then there is no point in going out on court.
“Anything can happen on the day and we have just got to keep positive, keep believing and see what happens.”
The singles start on Saturday (July 28) with the team event beginning on Friday, August 3.
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