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'Rowdy' crowd blamed for archery loss

Andrew Buncombe
Saturday 09 October 2010 00:00 BST

Archery's world governing body was forced to issue a statement demanding Commonwealth Games spectators show "fair play" after England complained that "rowdy" Indian crowds had distracted their team at crucial moments of two matches which they went on to lose.

England's women missed out on a gold medal in the team recurve competition yesterday morning when they were beaten 207-206 by India.

England held the lead going into the final set of arrows but a weak last round meant they missed out. "Obviously it was a difficult way to finish," said Alison Williamson, who shot last. "This is not a typical archery crowd but we're not making any excuses because we shoot as a team. I liken it to golf, though. You don't get people clapping and shouting when someone is teeing off."

Amy Oliver, from Rotherham, who has reportedly been shooting nines and 10s all week, hit just six high scores. She said: "I was nervous, the crowd was not good. They were pretty loud and it was not good sportsmanship for archery."

In the afternoon, England's men narrowly lost bronze – again to India – in the men's team recurve archery as they went down 221-218. England trailed by five after the first end but pulled back to within two points with just six arrows left. The England team later said India's "colourful supporters" had been cheering on the host nation.

Archery's governing body, FITA, issued a statement that said: "While we are glad to have an enthusiastic crowd, we need to strongly remind the fans that they must respect all the athletes on the field. We ask the public to be quiet when the archers draw their bow up until the arrow has been shot. This is a matter of fair play."

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