By Mike Rowbottom
July 19 - England’s Alan Wills and Naomi Folkard have earned ideal lifts for this year’s Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, having taken gold and silver medals respectively at the FITA World Field Archery Championships in Hungary.
Wills, a 28-year-old from Frizington in Cumbria, won an all-English men’s individual recurve final, in Visegrad beating Jon Shales 54-51.
Folkard reached the women’s individual recurve final, but went down 53-45 to Christine Bjerendal of Sweden.
The field archery championships differ from those that will feature in Delhi as they involves shooting at different sized targets at different distances and at different gradients on a field course.
In the Delhi competition targets will be at a uniform distance of 70 metres.
But Wills said his victory had given him a real boost.
"It hasn’t really sunk in yet," he said today.
"This will give me some more confidence and it will also be really good for the team.
"We’ve got a really strong team.
"I was something like seventh after the first couple of qualifying rounds and I wasn’t performing up to my potential.
"I decided to just give it my best and go for it, and it all came together."
Wills, who narrowly missed a place in the quarter-finals at the 2008 Beijing Games, said he was looking forward to competing in Delhi, where archery makes only its second appearance on the Commonwealth Games programme.
"The Commonwealth Games are a once in a lifetime opportunity," he added.
"Archery hasn’t been at the Commonwealth Games for 28 years and I’m really looking forward to it.."
Folkard, who is 26 and from Kidderminster in Worcestershire, won a bronze medal in the World Field Archery Championships four years ago.
She has competed at the last two Olympic Games.
She had to beat team-mate and fellow England team member for Delhi, Amy Oliver, in the shoot-off for a place in the semi-finals in Hungary.
Oliver, from Rotherham, finished just out of the medals in fifth.
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