Belfast Telegraph

Sophie Benton strikes silver with her magic arrows

By Ali Gordon

Newtownards schoolgirl Sophie Benton has shot her way to a silver medal at the Junior Barebow World Archery Field Championships in Zagreb.

The 16-year-old from Cuan Bowmen Archery Club only took up the sport two years ago and beat off competitors from 28 nations to secure her medal.

On the first day of competition, Sophie was required to shoot at 24 unmarked targets in the scenic parkland of central Zagreb. The unmarked targets meant that the archers had to estimate the distance to each of four different sized targets. The following day, consisted of a further 24 targets that were marked.

Sophie was set the challenge of confronting number one seed, Jessica Nilsson from Sweden in the semi-final. Triumphing in an impressive 41-27 victory, Sophie then faced Italian Anna Carrasco in the final.

Both archers finished with 42 points and a one arrow shoot-out determined the gold medal. Carrasco scored five points to deny Sophie gold but, with age on her side, the future looks very bright for Sophie.

"What a star Sophie's been – she did not show any signs of nerves. A silver medal and she has only been shooting for two years," said Team Great Britain manager Gloria Mead.

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