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Monday, 21 April 2014

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Alan to fly Olympic flag for Cumbria

PROUD Alan Wills pledged to fly the flag for Cumbria at the London Olympics after he was named in the three-man Great Britain archery team for the Games.

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Representing Cumbria and the UK: Olympic archer Alan Wills

Mr Wills, who competed in the Beijing Olympics, battled through a qualification series to earn a place in the team, alongside long-time international team-mates Simon Terry and Larry Godfrey.

“Qualifying for the Olympics was very tough, intense, and I was absolutely thrilled to bits to secure my place in the team with Simon and Larry, and make it to a second Olympic Games,” said Mr Wills, from Frizington.

“I can’t wait now to walk out at Lord’s, it’s going to be a wonderful occasion, fantastic experience, and an atmosphere that will be second to nothing we’ve ever experienced before.

“Going to Beijing four years ago was a memorable experience for me, it was my first Olympics. But taking part in London 2012 is what I’ve been working towards for four years, and to have secured my place is fantastic.

“I am proud not just to be representing Team GB, but also Cumbria. I’ve had great support from local people over the years, and I hope to repay their faith when I’m taking part at the Olympics.

“Nothing would make me prouder than being able to return home with an Olympic medal.

“I’ve won world championship and World Cup medals in the past, and I know if everything falls into place on the day I am capable of being competitive against the best archers in the world.

“As a team, Simon, Larry and myself have also had our successes at international competitions. We know each other really well, work well as a team, and I see no reason why we can’t be in the mix for a medal.”

Mr Wills showed his potential when with his two Olympic team-mates he picked up World Cup gold for Great Britain in Turkey at the weekend.

They swept past a strong India line up 222-211 in the men’s recurve team final. It was GB’s first win over India, who knocked out favourites Korea in the semis, since the same trio won at the quarter-final stage of the World Cup tournament in Dover five years ago.

“It was an outstanding performance from the guys, and we’re all as proud of them as they should be of themselves,” said Archery GB performance director Sara Symington.

The Brits came close to a first round exit in the World Cup after a drawn match with Malaysia, but they went through after shooting 26 with a further three arrows – one more than their Malaysian rivals.

They then beat second seeds Italy by a single point and went on to book a place in the final with a 214-210 win over France in their last-four clash.

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