Belfast archer hits the target of record GB hat-trick
Belfast's Patrick Huston has made history by becoming the first archer to win the Great Britain National Series recurve title three times in a row.
It's the perfect way for Huston to warm up ahead of next month's World Archery Championships in Mexico, where he will compete for the Great Britain team.
Huston is enjoying a superb season having made it into the top 20 in the world rankings for the first time and last month won individual and team medals at the European Field Championships.
The 21-year-old has followed that up with victory in the Archery GB National Series, which is the blue riband domestic championship of the year. There are six qualification stages culminating in yesterday's Grand Final in Birmingham.
Two time champion Huston entered the day as favourite to clinch a hat-trick of title successes but it wasn't all plain sailing for the Northern Ireland ace, who collected his prize sporting his trademark flat cap which he was banned from wearing when competing in the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Huston started his glory run in the morning with a comprehensive 6-0 win in sets against Michael Judd. The Ulsterman was in dominant form winning the first set 27-24 and never looked in danger unlike during his semi-final when he was on the verge of defeat.
Opponent Ashe Morgan led Huston 5-1 but the multiple youth world champion showed his class by fighting back to draw level at 5-5. Then came a shoot off with Huston hitting 10 to Ashe’s nine and booking a place in the final.
Huston has always stated that he is at his most dangerous when under pressure. That claim was certainly put to the test against Morgan and the former Campbell College student came up with the goods.
Alex Wise started the decider in impressive fashion taking an early lead, but once Huston found his range there was no stopping him as he soared to a historic triumph.
Never short of self-belief, the GB National series win is sure to give Houston more confidence ahead of his biggest competition of 2017 – the World Championships in Mexico City from October 15 to 22.