Paralympian Danielle Brown wins first able-bodied British title

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
Paralympian Danielle Brown wins able-bodied national title

Two-time Paralympic champion Danielle Brown won her first able-bodied British title with victory at the ArcheryGB National Series finals in Nottingham.

The 25-year-old London 2012 gold medallist beat Lucy O'Sullivan 142-141 in a tense compound final.

"It's a pretty phenomenal standard and the fact I'm up there with these archers is a great confidence boost," Brown told BBC Sport.

GB Olympians Alan Wills and Amy Oliver secured wins in the recurve finals.

Belgian Michael Cauwe claimed the men's compound title, defeating Adam Ravenscroft in sudden-death after they tied 145 each after five sets.

Matt Arnold saw off the challenge of Liam Grimwood with a 144-143 win in the bronze-medal contest.

In the Olympic-class recurve event two-time Olympian Alan Wills claimed an emotional straight-sets victory over youngster Michael Judd.

Wills' long-term coach and mentor Alfred Davies passed away in July whilst the 32-year-old, who is a carpenter by trade, lost his athlete funding after failing to challenge for a medal at last year's Games.

"It's been a really tough year and I just kept on plugging away and tried not to let it get me down," he told BBC Sport.

"It makes me feel good to know I've still got it even though they've taken the money off me and hopefully it sends out a message because I need that support if I'm going to make the Rio Olympics."

In the women's event London Olympian Oliver, 26, claimed a convincing straight-sets win over her more established rival Naomi Folkard.

The result was all the more surprising given Oliver underwent shoulder surgery after last year's Games and was not expected to compete heavily until 2014.

"It wasn't easy, but I'm really happy with how I've shot today," she said.

"To be here [after the injury] is amazing because with the rehab I didn't think it would be possible, so to win on top of that is incredible."

Brown led by three points heading into the fifth and final end, but O'Sullivan, who has a full-time job as a strength and conditioning coach, drew level with one arrow left.

The Beijing and London Paralympic champion scored 10 to O'Sullivan's nine and thus secured victory.

"I'm a bit gutted," admitted O'Sullivan.

"She [Brown] is a full-time archer and I was a bit nervous because it's going up against someone who's in a different league, but it was a great experience."

Brown added: "It's always more fun and exciting winning it when you're under pressure and that gives me great confidence going forward."

There is plenty ahead for Brown over the coming months with the able-bodied World Championships in Antalya, Turkey 29 September - 6 October before she competes in the Para-archery Worlds in Bangkok, Thailand 1-7 November.

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