Hi, I’m Sarah Haywood and I began my archery journey in 2012, after I went for a recurve archery lesson at Hobart Archers in Tasmania for my birthday. Gaining inspiration from our successful Olympic men’s team and after years of practice and dedication, I started competing at national level in 2016. I have now been selected for state teams, multiple Australian national teams, World Championships teams and dream of Olympic selection.
2018 was a stellar year, I had achieved selection for world cup teams, had been taken on by the Tasmanian Institute of Sport and competed at the biggest archery event in the world.
I went to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic test event and shot my first match against the reigning Olympic champion, Chang Hye Jin, of Korea. I won the first set with a 29 and that has been one of my favourite archery memories.
I missed out on qualifying for the 2020 Olympic trials by one point. I was beyond devastated. Covid then happened and the Olympics got pushed out further and further. I was burnt out by the sport and hearing about the Games. Luck was going my way and I was introduced to a new sport; sailing. Trying and falling in love with a different sport let me heal from the pain of not qualifying when I knew that I could.
In 2021, before the Olympic Games were held, I won the Australian Open both individually and in the team event. After feeling extremely disappointed and angry for months, I started to put that energy towards targeting 2024.
In late 2021 I severely injured a finger and thumb whilst sailing on an ocean racing yacht and I was unable to shoot or sail for weeks. As I was unable to shoot for so long, my passion for the sport was bigger than ever! I was selected for the World Cup team and had my best international season, finishing 17th at the World cup in Paris and climbing to 97th in the World Rankings.
This season I have learned a lot from my experiences and I’ll be putting it all together as I work hard to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
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