Host of British archers earn Paralympic spots for 2012

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GB archers take aim for London 2012 Paralympic places

British archers marked the day that tickets went on sale for the 2012 Paralympics by securing 13 places at the London Games.

GB were already assured of six places before this week's Stoke Mandeville International.

But their performances at the event clinched seven more spots.

"It is not overstating it by saying that today was our biggest day since the [2008] Beijing Games," said GB Paralympic head coach Tim Hazell.

"It was bigger even that the World Championships. This is a fantastic effort, and I am so proud of our archers. They have done brilliantly to achieve this, and they've done Great Britain proud.

"Having a big British contingent at the Paralympics is vital for so many reasons, and to secure ourselves 13 places at the Games is fantastic."

Despite being the host nation, no places were guaranteed for British archers.

It meant the GB squad had to earn their spots, and battled for positions in a Paralympic quota tournament.

Mel Clarke won a gold medal in the competition, while John Cavanagh and Philip Bottomley both took silver.

Team GB sent 12 Paralympic archers to Beijing in 2008, and have now increased that quota by one for London.

"There's a lot of hard graft between now and next August, but for our Paralympic squad there is a fantastic opportunity for them to take part in their home Games, in front of big crowds and enthusiastic support," said Hazell.

"We have a very proud record at Paralympic Games and we want next year to be no different. We have a fantastic squad, achieving excellent standards, and we are one of the world's leading Para-archery nations."

Archery will be one of 20 sports at next year's Paralympics, with the tournament taking place at Woolwich Barracks. It became a Paralympic sport in 1960.

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