The finish line is in sight for four Australian archers battling for three spots on this year’s Australian Olympic team. The final line-up will be decided at a training camp in Brisbane later this month, and it’s anyone’s guess who will make the final cut. The finish line is in sight for four Australian archers battling for three spots on this year’s Australian Olympic team. The final line-up will be decided at a training camp in Brisbane later this month, and it’s anyone’s guess who will make the final cut. Up until last week 2012 Olympian Taylor Worth and former world indoor champion, Ryan Tyack, looked to be the front runners following a string of good results in recent competitions. But that was all turned on its head in Shanghai last week, when the youngest member of the quartet, 20-year-old Victorian Alec Potts, returned one of the strongest performances by an Australian in an international competition to burst into Olympic contention. To add to the intrigue, three-time Olympian Matt Gray, who had been struggling to regain the form that took him to the 1996, 2000 and 2008 Games, finished as the next best Australian, with Worth and Tyack both suffering first round losses. Potts shot an incredible 685 in the qualifying round in Shanghai to finish in third position. The national record is 686, held by teammate Tyack, but it’s the highest return for an Australian in an international competition. “It’s a huge confidence boost heading into the the next few months,” Potts said. “I knew I was shooting well during the ranking, but I tried not to let my focus shift because of that. “My thinking was to maintain the momentum rather than trying to improve my scoring.” Ever since Australia qualified a three-member men’s team for the Olympics at last year’s World Championships, competition among the talented quartet has been intense. But while Potts might go into the final Brisbane selection camp with a psychological edge, he’s a long way from feeling relaxed. “I wouldn’t say that it takes the pressure off, but it does give me confidence in knowing that I’m producing similar scores to practice in competition,” he said. “My shots are feeling good, so I’ll work to continue this.” In the women’s competition, Queensland’s Semra Ferguson further consolidated her chances of earning the sole female spot on the Olympic team by posting Australia’s best result in Shanghai. Ferguson shot 635 to qualify in 48th position, with the next best Australian WA’s Alice Ingley in 74th position. The final nomination camp will be held from May 20 to 22 in Brisbane.
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