Hemel Hempstead's Jess helps seal European Championship gold

Hemel Hempstead’s Paralympic gold medal-winning archer Jess Stretton has helped Great Britain secure gold in the able-bodied European Championships in Munich.

Monday, 13th June 2022, 3:11 pm
Jess Stretton pictured alongside winning team-mates Izzy Carpenter and Ella Gibson at the European Championships in Munich
Jess Stretton pictured alongside winning team-mates Izzy Carpenter and Ella Gibson at the European Championships in Munich

Archery talks about its unrivalled inclusivity as a sport for all ages, genders and abilities.

As one of the only sports in which non-disabled and disabled participants as well as widely different ages can compete against each other, archery seeks to break down barriers like no other sport.

And last weekend, the GB Women’s Compound Team competing in the European Championships in Munich put this inclusivity into practice at the elite level when Ella Gibson, Izzy Carpenter and Stretton who won Paralympic gold at Rio in 2016 - a young team competing together for the first time - stepped into the arena and won a fantastic gold medal for GB.

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Carpenter also went on to win the Compound Women’s individual European title.

Stretton said: “It feels so surreal to be able to compete at an able-bodied European Championships and come away with a medal, let alone a gold one.

“It’s an amazing achievement that I didn’t think I’d be able to do.

“Shooting in the finals was nerve racking as always, but it was easier knowing both Ella and Izzy were with me.”

Carpenter added: “It’s honestly incredible.

"To come here as a brand-new team and earn the gold medal is amazing.

“This is the first medal the GB compound women have ever won at a European Championships. To be a part of the team who did that is a surreal feeling.”

And Gibson said: “It feels amazing to be able to come away as European Champions with our team debut.

"I am really proud of us for not only how we have shot this week but how we have worked together.”

Commenting on the Championships and inclusivity in the sport, Archery GB Performance Director Tom Duggan added: “There were four other Para athletes besides GB competing in Munich which really highlights the inclusive nature of archery across the international landscape.

“The photo of Jess, Izzy and Ella together is a really powerful image showing how disabled and non-disabled athletes can compete together in archery and come away with medals.”