Archery: Team GB hopes of archery medal end as Larry Godfrey is knocked out

 

Great Britain's hopes of an archery medal are over after their last man standing, Larry Godfrey, was knocked out in the last 16 on a one-arrow shoot-off.

Godfrey came from behind to move within one set of victory but his Malaysian opponent Khairul Anuar Mohamad found his best form at the tail end of the match to tie at 5-5 across five sets.

That left one shot apiece to decide the match and while Godfrey hit a strong nine, Mohamad held his nerve to strike a dead centre 10.

Godfrey, drawing first, sent his opening shot into the nine ring and received a warm cheer from the Lord's crowd.

Mohamad shot eight and when the pair traded nines Godfrey, who finished fourth in the Athens Games of 2004, was in position to take the set.

But he sent his closing shot high into the seven and went 2-0 behind as Mohamad hit centre gold.

Godfrey did not let that affect his composure, shooting two nines and his first maximum to score 28 from a possible 30.

Mohamad looked to have shot 27 but saw an initial eight upgraded to nine by the judges to halve the set.

But Godfrey was warming to his task and dropped just one point in the third set, finding the inner ring twice.

Mohamad hit an eight first up in response and could not claw back the deficit to leave the score tied at 3-3.

Godfrey hit his fourth maximum to take control of the fourth set, following with a pair of nines, and Mohamad's third eight put the home favourite in front for the first time.

Victory in the fifth set would have put Godfrey through but his opponent was nerveless, reeling off a pair of 10s to score 28 and force a shoot-off.

Godfrey had the first attempt and will have been happy to have found the gold, but Mohamad's aim was true and Godfrey bowed out with a wave to the fans.

The ebullient Godfrey, who delighted the Lord's crowd earlier in the competition when he celebrated his second-round victory with some mock cricket strokes, was clearly deflated after his exit.

Yet he was nevertheless able to reflect with some enthusiasm about his performances in London, which saw him place fourth in the ranking round with a personal best of 680 over 72 arrows and win two knockout matches to reach the final day of competition.

"What can you do? I went out there and gave it my best," he said.

"You have to live in hope that it is your day and it quite easily could have been, but it was his day instead: that's archery.

"I've done everything I possibly could and ticked every single box. I can go away from here feeling happy in that respect but obviously I'm disappointed not to get a medal - that's my third Games now and still no medals.

"It's a shame but I'm glad I was in the pot. I didn't just come here for the T-shirt, I came here to try and compete and I think I did that to the best of my ability.

"I set a personal best in qualifying, I won the first two rounds and I got knocked out on a one-arrow shoot-off.

"It's not as if he spanked me 6-0. I'm happy with how it's gone, just disappointed there is no medal at the end of it."

PA

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