Retirement looms for Folkard after Rio defeat

Naomi Folkard

Naomi Folkard

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Naomi Folkard will cherish her top-eight finish in Rio even if she admits it is perhaps time to start looking for a career outside of competitive archery.

Folkard led an inspired campaign at her fourth Olympic Games, firing herself all the way to the quarter-finals where she met Hyejin Chang of Korea.

The Leamington-born recurve archer could not advance at the iconic Sambadrome, losing 7-1, but will take pride in her performance as she begins to think of life outside the range.

“To finish top eight in the Olympic Games is something I couldn’t have dreamt of a few months ago,” she said. “I’m not planning on continuing. I’ve been a full-time archer for 11 years and I need a life. I want to get into coaching,” she said.

“I will always be involved in the sport. You never know they might persuade me to come back but I need at least one year out. I’m 32 and I don’t have a pension and really I need to get a job.”

Folkard, who had moved into the last eight with a 6-2 win over Ane Marcelle Dos Santos of Brazil, admitted she paid for a nervy start against Chang who went on to claim gold later in the day.

“I was a bit nervous on that first set and it was quite windy which affected me more than it should have as I held onto the shots too long.

“But I stayed strong after that and shot a lot of good shots after that, including quite a few tens so I’m really proud of that.”