Hubbard's Cupboard: It used to be like Robin Hood compared to the slick kit of today
The man with incredible tales from past Games
Sunday 29 July 2012
Ladies Day at Lord's, where Britain's women's archery team seek to atone for the shock early exit of the men yesterday, and it is all bull's-eyes on Alison Williamson, shooting in her sixth Olympic Games. Though GB ended the opening round in 11th place, Williamson, 40, says the team are "more than capable" of challenging for a medal if they hit their best form on the day.
Back in London's first Games of 1908 it really was Robin Hood stuff compared to the hi-tech bows and slick kit of today. The field in the women's archery event at White City consisted only of Britons, dressed in bustles with skirts down to their laced-up boots. Little Lottie Dod led the competition, held in rainy conditions, after the first day but was surpassed by Queenie Newall in the second, eventually taking silver with 642 points to Newall's 688.
Dod's brother Willy fared better and secured the gold medal in the men's competition.
Lottie was the Lara Croft of her day, a sporting superwoman who won the Wimbledon ladies singles championship, the first time when she was only 15 in the summer of 1887. She remains the youngest ladies' singles champion. The first female tennis player to volley and smash, not that easy in the outfits she had to romp around in, she was also British golf champion in 1904, played international hockey, was an impressive ice skater, keen cricketer and the first female to go down the Cresta Run.
Dod, from Bebington, Cheshire, and known as the "Little Wonder", was a pioneer among sporting suffragettes, leading a campaign for sportswomen to wear looser and more comfortable attire when competing. She never married and died in a Hampshire nursing home in 1960 at the age of 88 while listening to the Wimbledon radio commentary.
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