Rio medallists and Athens comeback on target for Tokyo 2020 Archery
The archers qualified Australia for the Tokyo 2020 men’s Team quota in a tiebreak shootoff against Turkey at the 2019 World Championships and earned their individual selection through the gruelling 4-part Archery Australia selection trials.
The trio will take on 11 other nations in the three-person Teams event, where Australia is the defending Olympic bronze medallist, and will shoot for solo glory in the 64-strong individual competition.
Barnes’ return to the Olympic Team 16 years after his Athens debut equals the second-longest break between Australian Olympic appearances, bested only by Equestrian rider Scott Keach’s 28 years from Seoul to Rio.
Australian Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020 Ian Chesterman welcomed the sharpshooters to the Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo.
“Congratulations to David, Ryan and Taylor on making their return to the Olympics,” Mr Chesterman said.
“For Taylor to make his third Games and Ryan and David to make their second, particularly given David’s 16-year break, is a remarkable achievement.
“These athletes have demonstrated that they are world-class, medalling at Olympic Games and World Cups, and I look forward to seeing them in action for Australia in Tokyo.
“This is a day to celebrate for the three athletes selected and to acknowledge the incredible support from Archery Australia, their sporting institutes, coaches, family, friends and supporters that helped them reach this milestone.”
34-year-old Barnes enters his second Games a world away from his debut appearance as an 18-year-old in Athens.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be back at the Olympics,” Barnes said. “In Athens I was a teenager with nothing to lose and no real responsibilities. Fast forward to today and I’m a dad of two, running my own business, and just at a completely different stage of my life.
“I’m a lot more focused and efficient with my time now, to juggle training with everything else in my life. Knowing my two kids (aged 4 and 6) will be able to see their dad compete at an Olympics is a great motivator.
“Archery is a brutally honest sport, there’s nowhere to hide and it’s all about the effort you put in to training – I’m excited to get back to the Olympic stage and show the world what we can do.”
The South Australian shot his first arrow in over a decade in 2017 after a well-timed business motivation session.
“I was on a business retreat with other entrepreneurs and we had a goal-setting session - I always knew I wanted to go back to Archery at some point in my life, but hadn’t shot an arrow in over 10 years.
“In the goal-setting session I knew I wanted to make Tokyo 2020 – I worked backwards to when I would need to be back in form to qualify and realised I had to start shooting straight away.
“I always felt like I had unfinished business in Archery. Being part of a Team with Ryan and Taylor who have been shooting so well for years and the defending bronze medallists is fantastic, I’m excited to see what we can do together.”
Hitting a 12cm bullseye from 70 metres under intense pressure is all in a day’s work for 29-year-old Taylor Worth, who has Team and Individual medals across World Cups and World Championships to go with his Rio Team bronze.
“I love Archery because it’s the constant pursuit of perfection,” Worth said. “We are chasing that dead centre of the target, again and again and again.
“Even after hitting it time and time again it just drives you to show the world what you can do.
“Going into my third Olympics, I still need to treat it like any other competition. It might be the biggest stage but at the end of the day, we’re just shooting arrows, and hopefully reflecting everything we’ve done to get us to this moment.”
Archery Australia CEO Rick Hastie was proud to see Taylor, Ryan and David selected to the Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo.
“The team have been working incredibly hard over the last three years, producing some very promising results, which is testament to a lot of hard work and dedication by the athletes, our National Coach Ya Ping Shih and our High Performance Team led by Graeme Rose.
“We understand the huge sacrifices that all our athletes, support teams and their families make to get to this point and we are fully behind them in preparation for what is set to be an exciting couple of months in the lead up to Tokyo 2020.
We cannot wait to see David, Ryan and Taylor in action along with the rest of the Australian Team.”
Archery runs from 24 July to 1 August in Tokyo’s Yumenoshima Park, and consists of Teams and Individual events for men and women and a mixed Teams event making its Olympic debut.
Australia’s female archers have not yet earned a Tokyo 2020 quota but can earn an individual quota at the Oceania Championships in Fiji in April. If an Australian athlete earns an individual quota, that would also make Australia eligible to compete in the mixed Teams event, with the top 16 nations from the combined score of one male and one female archer in Tokyo’s ranking round proceeding to the mixed Teams event.