LINGARD’S CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH ARCHERY HERO SPURS HER ON

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There was a moment at the Shanghai Archery World Cup earlier this year when Semra Lingard could have gone to water.  It wasn’t during an intense moment of competition or a particularly stressful situation.  It happened when she came face-to-face with her archery hero, Mexican Aida Roman. There was a moment at the Shanghai Archery World Cup earlier this year when Semra Lingard could have gone to water.  It wasn’t during an intense moment of competition or a particularly stressful situation.  It happened when she came face-to-face with her archery hero, Mexican Aida Roman.  “I really like her because she’s at the top, but she’s quite down to earth about it all, she’s always laughing and smiling, still approachable,” Lingard said of the London Olympics silver medalist.  “I feel like that’s how I want to be. If I make the top I don’t want people to think I’m not approachable.”  But the 25-year-old Queenslander didn’t let her close encounter with her sporting hero overwhelm her – not until they’d finished competing, at least.  “I shot the same score as Roman, she beat me by one X, which just goes to show they’re not untouchable,” Lingard said.  “I did chat to her after, and may have let her know she was my hero, but I didn’t want her to think I was crazy!”  Next week Lingard will go into the 2015 Archery World Championships in Copenhagen as the form Australian recurve archer, and she’s confident after Shanghai that she can mix it with the best.  “I’m feeling pretty good about it all, but it doesn’t calm the nerves,” Lingard said this week.  “Especially as it’s my first World Championships, so it’s pretty nerve wracking. For the couple of days leading into the World Cup it was very nerve wracking, thinking about what was going to happen and how I was going to go.  “But once the competition started and you get into the groove of it, it calms the nerves somewhat.  “At Shanghai I shot a PB by about 14 points, the first time I’ve ranked in the top 20 at an international tournament.”  While individual performances will be important in Copenhagen, Australia’s main focus will be trying to get their teams qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympics.  To book their tickets the three-person team has to finish top eight next week. If that happens, Australia will be guaranteed three archers in next year’s individual events.  The Australian women’s team in Copenhagen is made up of newcomers Lingard and Ingrid Brookshaw, and two-time Olympian, Deonne Bridger.  “I’m pretty excited about the team we’ve got, I think we can go far,” Lingard said.  “We’re good friends and have a lot of team spirit.”  Even though Rio is now just over one year away, Lingard is trying not to let it distract her.  But she’s finding it almost impossible to put it out of her mind completely.  “I still do think about it, it’s been my goal for a long time, to make the Olympics. So I can’t help thinking about it,” she said.  “But for the next few weeks my focus is just on the World Championships – once I get that out of the way I’ll allow myself to fantasise about Rio.”  The 2015 Archery World Championships begin in Copenhagen on Sunday and run through to August 2.