Archery is a sport demanding a range of skills from a steady hand, strong shoulders, flexible muscles, a keen eye, and a cool disposition.
Most of us are familiar with the image of Robin Hood executing the ‘impossible’ by firing an arrow to split the shaft of one already in the target, and archer’s still term the act a “Robin Hood” today.
The equipment has improved in its technology, but the sport remains essentially unchanged. Modern bows are made of a combination of wood, coated with carbon fibre, fibreglass or ceramic. The arrows consists of a carbon or aluminium shaft with a stainless steel head, and can reach speeds of around 240km/h. (149mph).
Target archery was a feature of the Olympic Games several times from 1900 to 1920, but did not reappear until Munich in 1972 and has remained a fixture ever since. Individual archers, or archers in teams, compete in head-to-head matches in single elimination. The semi-finals winners decide the gold and silver medals in the final, and the semi-finals losers shoot for the bronze.
Olympic archers shoot at targets 70m away. The target is 122cm in diameter and marked with ten concentric rings. The centre ring, or bullseye, measures 12.2cm in diameter. The outer ring counts as one, and the rings in between increase by one point in value as they near the ten-point centre or bullseye.