BRIDE Valley archery youngster Reuben Kingston competed in the National Series event at Exmouth alongside Britain’s top archers, including Olympians Larry Godfrey, Naomi Folkard and Amy Oliver.
Saturday saw a ranking round of 72 arrows at 70m. As the youngest competitor, having never shot more than 50m in competition and with very windy conditions this was a major challenge. However, he shot extremely well to score 509, setting new county and regional records in the process.
Following this round, archers were seeded for an Olympic style head-to-head knockout tournament.
Kingston was drawn against the second ranked competitor, and again shot well in a narrow defeat, gaining valuable experience of this competition format.
On Sunday, he shot a metric one round (36 arrows at each of 70, 60, 50 and 30m), being a longer round than he had ever shot before.
He coped with even windier conditions to record a score of 1044 for a county and regional record and set further records for the 70, 60 and 50m distances.
The youngster also competed in GB Archery’s Academies Cup at Lilleshall National Sports Centre.
This featured all the top juniors from the performance academy programme and junior squads from Scotland and Wales.
He was invited to shoot in the 17-and-under ranking round, making him the youngest competitor in this event. Shooting 72 arrows at 60m, he scored 594 to finish in sixth place out of 14.
As well as bagging another new county and regional record, his total was also a qualifying score for next season’s selection shoots for the World Junior Championships and the Junior Commonwealth Games.
Following his success in the 17-and-under round Kingston was then invited to compete in a series of 20-and-under team matches shooting 70m, gaining more experience of shooting the full Olympic distance in competition.
Following impressive performances in these matches he was invited to represent an academy team at the National Series Finals in Nottingham.
In the individual head-to-head matches, he progressed through to the quarter-finals, winning his matches 3-0.
He then faced a national squad member and only narrowly lost 3-2, losing the deciding set by just one point.
As the highest scoring losing quarter-finalist, Kingston claimed fifth place overall only behind a selection of National Cadet Team members.
Kingston’s hard work over the last year as part of GB Archery’s academy programme has really proved worthwhile with excellent results. He is also very grateful for support locally from the Mark Broad Fund.