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Huston aiming for medal success despite difficult start

By Ryan Walters

Belfast's Patrick Huston insists the thrill of knock-out archery will bring the best out of him after being left slightly underwhelmed by his performance in the ranking round at Rio 2016.

The first Brit to compete at these Olympics, Huston, who was pictured beforehand reading a motivational note proclaiming himself to be the gold medal winner, produced a score of 656 from his 72 arrows to rank him 38th and set up a meeting with Rick van Der Ven of the Netherlands on Wednesday.

But in expectation of an incredible atmosphere at the Sambodrome - also the annual venue for Rio's iconic carnival samba parade - Huston believes he will only get better.

"Realistically I am rather disappointed, I didn't perform quite to the standard I would have liked to have been able to but I think I have an idea what it is," he said.

"This bit was just for fun, the bit that actually means something and has medals at the end of it is yet to come and that is what I do really well at.

"It was absolutely brilliant to be the first Brit competing. Historically archers were the first to go into battle, so it really does harp back to the days of old," he added.

"Finishing 38th out of 64 is not appalling but it wasn't the target I had set myself. I wanted to definitely be top-20, preferably top-10.

"I have the weekend off so I have quite a bit of time to fix it. Archery is an awful lot about feelings and replicating the same thing so to be able to have exactly the same feeling and sensation in your muscles is absolutely crucial."

Having been prohibited from wearing his trademark flat cap by a sponsorship agreement, the 20-year-old had been hoping to sport a quirky hairdo in its absence.

Sadly though the Olympic Village's beauty salon didn't have the tools to shave a Union Jack into the side of his head.

Regardless the world number 38 is confident his archery will speak loud enough.

"Head to heads are exactly what I live for. The thrill of having everyone looking at you one arrow at a time gets my heart rate up.

"When I get to the proper stadium with the crowds cheering all around me, the pressure of that will make me perform."

Huston's form has been excellent going into the Games and he arrived in Rio as a genuine medal contender.

Van Der Ven will provide a stern test but Huston is confidently aiming for victory.

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