SHOREHAM-by-Sea archer Bryony Pitman will be in action for Great Britain at the second Youth Olympic Games, which begin in Nanjing, China, on Saturday.
The last time Pitman was in China was for last year’s World Youth Archery Championships in Wuxi, where a 33rd-place finish was good enough to confirm Great Britain a female spot in Nanjing.
However, the 17-year-old knew that she still faced a fight on her hands as she had to win two out of three domestic head-to-head shoot-offs to confirm that spot on the 33-strong Team GB squad heading to China.
Worthing Archery Club member Pitman was the only British female with a high-enough ranking to contend the shoot-outs, meaning she booked herself a plane ticket to China with consummate ease.
However, Pitman is determined to make the most of her opportunity on the big stage and said: “I won the place for Great Britain at the World Youth Championships in Wuxi but I knew that I still had to go on and claim the spot for myself.
“As it turned out, I was the only British girl with a high enough score, so I got the place and I was really happy with it.
“I am heading back to China wanting to win a medal or at least secure a top-four finish, but overall the experience will be a really good learning curve for me.
“It will be my first multi-sport event and that experience will set me up really well for a senior Olympics in the future, hopefully. That is my main aim, so anything I can learn and take from Nanjing that will help me to do that will be a huge help.”
Pitman is one of only two GB archers to be selected, with Bradley Denny flying the flag for British males in the Far East. She added: “Competing in Nanjing is going to be amazing. I can’t wait.
“It’s a massive event for archery at a junior level, so I’m hoping to do well. I’ve won medals at both national and international competitions so I’m hoping that experience will help in China.
“My dad, Gary Kinghorn, competed for Great Britain and became world champion, so it’s great to continue that trend in the family. My aim is to one day be selected for the Olympic Games.”
The British Olympic Association prepares and leads British athletes at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. It works in partnership with sport National Governing Bodies to enhance Olympic success and is responsible for championing the Olympic Values. www.teamgb.com