Belfast Telegraph

Belfast man Huston climbs new heights with Mexico bronze

 

By Steven Beacom

Northern Ireland's Patrick Huston is celebrating the finest result of his career after winning a bronze medal at the World Archery Championships in Mexico City.

Huston teamed up with England's Naomi Folkard to make the podium for Great Britain in the mixed team recurve event.

The third place finish climaxes a superb 2017 for the 21-year-old from Belfast.

The one time junior world champion has made it into the top 20 in the senior world rankings for the first time, claimed individual and team medals at the European Field Championships and created history by becoming the first archer to win the Great Britain National Series recurve title three times in a row.

Huston reached the last 16 in his individual event at the World Championships and, alongside Folkard from Leamington Spa, upped the ante to earn bronze.

It was a fantastic achievement as the British pair had reached the knockout stages by finishing a lowly 15th in the qualification series. They defeated second seeded Chinese Taipei and hosts Mexico to move into the semi-finals, where they lost out to Germany in a compelling battle.

Houston and Folkard put that loss to the back of their minds to produce a superb performance in the bronze medal match against Japanese fifth seeds Takaharu Furukawa and Tomomi Sugimoto. In windy conditions, Houston and Folkard started well and moved 4-0 ahead before eventually winning 5-3 in sets.

Korea defeated Germany in the final but it was the Great Britain duo's display that had many people talking in Mexico with former Campbell College pupil Houston wearing the flat cap that has become his trademark.

The young Northern Ireland archery star and 34-year-old Folkard, who has competed in the Olympics on four occasions, made quite a team.

Houston, brimming with self-belief, will be determined to kick on next year and move into the top 10 in the world.

He will also be thinking about more podium places in the top individual events having enjoyed that feeling in the mixed competition.

Belfast Telegraph

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