Archery 07-16-2004 18:40

Archery is a thrilling sport that is growing in popularity. Anyone can participate, man, woman or child. To be successful as an athlete in this sport requires years of practice and development of both mental and physical skills. Archers develop techniques to fully control their body movement, their endurance and their mental steadiness, when preparing to meet the challenge of match days.


The Olympic Archery competition takes place outdoors, in four categories of events:

1.Individual events, men鈥檚 and women鈥檚

2.Team events, men鈥檚 and women鈥檚

Competitors shoot standing, aiming to land their arrow in the smallest (the central) circle, 12 cm in diameter, on a target face 122 cm in diameter, placed 70 m away. The target consists of ten coloured concentric circles known as 鈥榬ings鈥.

An arrow in the innermost circle (the 鈥榖ull鈥檚 eye鈥) is worth ten points, and an arrow in the outermost circle (the 鈥榦uter鈥) counts for one. An arrow landing successfully in a ring between these two is worth from two to nine points, depending which one it is.

ATHENS 2004 Archery

The Archery competition in the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games will take place at the Panathinaiko Stadium (Kallimarmaro). This is the Stadium where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896, and it is built on top of the ancient Stadium dating from 329 B.C. The competition will be held from 15 to 21 August in the following categories:

1.Archery, individual events, men鈥檚

2.Archery, individual events, women鈥檚

3.Archery, team events, men鈥檚

4.Archery, team events, women鈥檚


According to Greek history, Archery emerged as a sport even in ancient times. Humankind鈥檚 first composite mechanical invention was how to use a bow and arrow. Ancient people regarded Archery as an art, no different from music or other arts.

Greek mythology is full of references to Olympian gods and heroes who were recorded in history as great archers. It is well known that the goddess of hunting, Artemis, and her brother Apollo, the god of light and the arts, made use of bows; the two are conventionally portrayed as carrying arrows and quivers. Hercules is an example of an archer hero: he had been taught how to use the bow by a native of Scythia, Teutaros, and had been initiated into the art of Archery by Rhadamanthys.

Another case in point is Poias, a member of the Argonaut expedition, who inherited Hercules鈥檚 bow and arrows and in turn handed them down to his son Philoctetes - another celebrated archer and the ruler of Thessaly. These weapons were instrumental in the fall of Troy. Ulysses, too, upon returning to his palace after many years of adventures, confronted Penelope鈥檚 suitors in a grand archery competiition 鈥 an event elaborately portrayed in the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey. Other famous archers in the Trojan War were Pandarus and Paris, of the Trojans, and Teucer and Ulysses, of a coalition of other hellenic cities.

In Byzantine times, Justinian鈥檚 brilliant general Belissarius, a superb archer himself, set up a new kind of heavy-armed but flexible cavalry: the 鈥榗ataphracts鈥 "the full harnessed ones", soldiers armed with bows and other weaponry.

Later in history, Archery began to spread purely as a sport of leisure. The first recorded Archery contest of recent times was in Finsbury, in 1583; where three thousand archers took part. Many British kings and queens, such as Queen Victoria and Henry VIII, have been involved with this sport. The latter staged contests and founded the first Archery club 鈥 the Brotherhood of St. George - in 1537.

The first international competition was held between English and French archers in 1900, the year that archery was accepted into the Olympic Games, in Paris. It remained in the Olympic programme until the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, with the exception of the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. In those Games, each competitor had the right to take part in more than one sport. A Belgian, Hubert Van Innis, made history by winning more Olympic titles than any other archer had ever won: a total of 16 gold and three silver, the result of competing in Archery and other sports.

Archery was restored to the Olympic programme at Munich in 1972. Team event in Archery was introduced at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, and from 1992 onwards the Olympic Round was established, a new way of playing that showcased Archery more spectacularly.

The International Archery Federation (FITA) was founded in 1931 at Lvov (Polish Ukraine), where the first World Championship was held in the same year. Today, FITA numbers 130 member countries and stages a world championship every two years. Greece has been a member of FITA since 1983. The Hellenic Amateur Archery Federation (EFOT) was founded in 1999.

Source:The official website of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games


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