Archer Alison Williamson aims to hit six at Lord’s in London 2012 Olympics

This news broke on Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 | For more breaking news visit our news page

If selected, the 40-year-old former primary school teacher from Shropshire will join javelin thrower Tessa Sanderson and fencer Bill Hoskyns as having competed at six different Olympic Games – and she has not ruled out continuing until Rio 2016.

‘For me archery is everything,’ said Williamson, whose best Olympic performance so far is a bronze medal at Athens 2004.

‘I have had to give up a lot but if I had done something else, I would have ended up scratching my head and saying to myself: “What am I doing? I could have been at the Olympics”.

‘Now I’m full-time and Lottery-funded, and grateful for that. With some sports, the older you get the more difficult it becomes, but that’s not so with archery. Experience counts for a lot.’

Williamson came agonisingly close to adding another bronze medal in Beijing four years ago, in the team event, only for Great Britain to be edged out by France – but she rates the home team’s chances this year.

‘I’m hoping we can at least get a team medal but the competition will be challenging,’ she said.

‘The sport is more athletic now and the level of professionalism higher.’

One of her possible team-mates – and rivals in the individual competition – is 17-year-old, Amy Oliver, who would be making her Olympic debut if selected.

And just in case Williamson is not feeling her age, Oliver points it out in the most unwitting and well meaning of ways.

‘Alison is an inspiration to me. I’m her biggest fan. You can’t imagine the respect I have for her. She has so much experience and listening to her stories helps me with my own competitions,’ she said.

‘When she won her Olympic medal I didn’t actually watch because I was five, and too busy with my majorettes and things like that.

‘But being one of her competitors now is just incredible. She is a true legend. I want to be like Alison, and I hope one day someone is going to be looking at me saying: “I want to be like Amy Oliver”.’


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