Paralympic Archery

Paralympic Archery
Skill, concentration and nerves of steel will all be on show at the Paralympic Archery competition at London 2012.

 Antonio Rebollo of Spain shot Paralympic Archery into the big time by famously firing a flaming arrow to light the Olympic Flame at the Opening Ceremony of the Barcelona 1992 Games.

Key facts

VenueThe Royal Artillery Barracks
Dates: Thursday 30 August – Wednesday 5 September 2012
Medal events: 9
Athletes: 140 (88 men, 52 women)

Although Paralympic Archery was originally developed as a means of rehabilitation and recreation for people with a physical disability, it rapidly evolved into a competitive sport. At London 2012, the Paralympic Archery competition will consist of standing and wheelchair events for individuals and teams, and promises plenty of drama in the historic surroundings of The Royal Artillery Barracks

The basics

The object of the sport is simple: to shoot arrows as close to the centre of a target as possible. Paralympic Archery targets are 122 centimetres in diameter, with the gold ring at the centre (worth a maximum 10 points) measuring just 12.2cm. Archers shoot at the target from a distance of 70 metres.

At the Paralympic Games, the individual competitions will be played in a knockout format. Matches will be played over the best of five sets, with each set consisting of three arrows per archer. The winners of each match will qualify for the next round, until the last two archers go head to head in the gold medal match. A knockout format will also be used for the men’s and women’s team competitions, which features teams of three archers competing against each other in a best-of-24-arrows format.

Paralympic Archery, past and present


No sport has as great a Paralympic history as Archery. It featured at the first Stoke Mandeville Games in 1948, the direct precursor to the Paralympic Games, and has featured on every Paralympic programme since the first Games in 1960.

At London 2012, the Paralympic Archery competition will be held at a truly historic venue: The Royal Artillery Barracks. Its rich heritage dates back to 1716, when a Royal Warrant authorised the formation of two artillery companies at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich. The current building was constructed between 1775 and 1802.

Jargon buster

– Boss: The target, usually a square black block made of compacted foam, to which the target face is attached.– Bowman: An archer.
– Draw: The act of pulling back the bow string in preparation for shooting.
– Nock: A notch at the end of an arrow that rests against the bow string.

Get involved

You may be able to sign up for an archery course at your local leisure or outdoor sports centre, but the best way to learn is to join an accredited club. For details, visit the website of Archery GB or contact the British Wheelchair Archery Association, which runs training weekends. The International Archery Federationalso offers plenty of information about the sport, and you can learn more about how to get involved on the Parasport website.

John Cavanagh of Great Britain in action

~ by superbowlnyc on June 13, 2011.

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