|Full name||Naomi Anne Folkard|
|Born||18 September 1983 (age 36)|
Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
|Education||University of Birmingham|
|Updated on 23 June 2019.|
Naomi Anne Folkard (born 18 September 1983) is a British archer who has represented Great Britain at four Olympic games. She has also represented Great Britain at the World Archery Championships and the Archery World Cup, and England at the Commonwealth Games.
Following a string of national titles in the early 2000s, Folkard won selection for the British Olympic archery team in 2004. She has since regularly competed in international recurve archery events, including the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics. She is also a prominent competitor in field archery, having won medals at the World Games and the World Field Archery Championships.
Early and personal life
Folkard was born in Leamington Spa on 18 September 1983. She took up archery aged five and was a member of the Royal Leamington Spa Archery Society (RLSAS) and become a member of the British senior when she was sixteen. Both her parents and her brother have taken part in archery competitions. Folkard is also an accomplished musician, playing the violin and the piano since a young age. She is a member of the Birmingham University Orchestra, having studied music at the University of Birmingham as a student, competing in the 2004 Olympics shortly after finishing her second year examinations.
Folkard was British champion in 2000, 2001, and 2003, and competed in the World Student Games in 2003. She was a reserve for Britain's archery team for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. In 2004, she won the UK Indoor Archery Championships in the women's individual recurve category, shortly before qualifying for the Olympics in Athens later that year.
2004 Summer Olympics
Folkard claimed her place as part of Great Britain's archery squad for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens following a shoot-off in Lilleshall, joining Alison Williamson and Helen Palmer as Britain's qualifiers. In Athens she placed 17th in the women's individual ranking round, which determined the seeding for the elimination rounds, ahead of both Williamson and Palmer. She won against Olga Pilipova of Kazakhstan and Mari Piuva of Finland in the first two elimination rounds before being knocked out by Park Sung-hyun of South Korea, who placed first in the ranking round. Folkard finished the tournament with a final ranking of eleventh.
2008 Summer Olympics
At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing Folkhard again competed in both the individual and team events. Together with Alison Williamson and Charlotte Burgess as Great Britain's entry in the team event, they took a surprise second place in the ranking round, being outscored only by eventual gold medallists South Korea. They progressed to the quarter-finals, where they defeated Japan 201-196, setting up a face-off with hosts China in the semi-final. Folkard and her teammates were unable to overcome the Chinese team, losing 208-202 to miss out contesting the gold medal match, having to settle for a bout against France for the bronze medal. The French team emerged victorious, leaving Folkard, Williamson and Burgess finishing ranked 4th.
In the individual competition Folkard ended her ranking round with a total of 651 points, giving her the 8th seed for the first elimination round, just behind teammate Alison Williamson. She defeated Soha Abed Elaal of Egypt and teammate Charlotte Burgess in the first and second rounds before being eliminated by Japan's Nami Hayakawa in the third round.
2012 Summer Olympics
Folkard secured her place as one of three British female archers at the 2012 Olympic games in London at the Great Britain trials held in April 2012 at Lilleshall. At the games, held at Lord's Cricket Ground, she scored 637 in the ranking round of the women's individual event, finishing as the 42nd seed, ahead of teammates Alison Williamson (47th) and Amy Oliver (57th). Folkard was victorious in the first elimination round, defeating Kristina Timofeeva of Russia, but was knocked out in the second round by eventual bronze medallist Mariana Avitia of Mexico.
2016 Summer Olympics
Folkard entered her fourth Olympic games as Great Britain's sole female representative in the women's individual competition, holding a world ranking of 86. After being seeded 23rd in the ranking round following a score of 639, she defeated Ika Yuliana Rochmawati of Indonesia, Kaori Kawanaka of Japan, and Ane Marcelle Dos Santos of Brazil in the first three rounds to reach the quarter finals. There she lost to eventual gold medallist Chang Hye-Jin of South Korea, but despite her loss she recorded her best individual Olympic performance, ending the tournament ranked seventh place.
Following her defeat Folkard said that Rio 2016 was likely to be her last Olympic games.
Other competitions (2006-present)
Folkard emerged from the 2006 European Indoor Archery Championships a medallist, finishing second and coming away with a silver medal.
In 2007 Folkard won a bronze medal for Great Britain with Alison Williamson and Charlotte Burgess in the women's team event at the 2007 World Archery Championships, defeating the Italian team in the bronze medal match after losing to the South Korean squad in the semi-finals. The trio continued their success later that year at the fourth stage of the 2007 Archery World Cup held in Dover by winning the women's recurve tournament. This was however not enough for Great Britain to advance to the final.
Folkard, Williamson and Burgess' form continued in the Archery World Cup in 2008, winning a gold medal in the team competition in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in April, and a bronze medal in the same event in Boé, France, in June.
In 2009 Folkard achieved a bronze medal in the individual recurve event at the World Games held in Taiwan, but fared less well in the 2009 World Archery Championships, where she lost in the team and individual recurve events in the first and second rounds respectively.
With Edinburgh selected as the host for the final of the 2010 Archery World Cup in September, British athletes qualified as wildcard entries, with Folkard competing in the individual and mixed team events. She was defeated by Ki Bo-bae of South Korea in the individual competition, but along with Simon Terry she achieved a silver medal in the mixed team competition. The Commonwealth Games held the following month in Dehli, India provided her with her next medal opportunity - together with Alison Williamson and Amy Oliver, Folkard won silver medal competing for England in the team recurve competition, losing to Indian team by a single point in the gold medal match.
The 2012 World Field Archery Championships held in Val-d'Isère, France, proved doubly successful for Folkard, winning gold in the team's event for Great Britain and bronze in the individual competition. The following year she achieved the first major title win of her career, winning the gold medal in the field archery event at the World Games in Cali, defeating Germany's Elena Richter. In 2014, she replicated her earlier successes at the World Field Archery Championships, earning bronze medals in both the team and individual competitions. Further medals came in 2017, winning bronze at both the Indoor World Cup in Nîmes and the World Archery Championships in Mexico City along with silver in the recurve archery event at the 2017 World Games in Wrocław.
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