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Archery: Search on for new coach
John Salvado
16:13 AEST Tue Jul 26 2011

The greatest name in Australian archery will be a notable absentee from the London Olympics campaign.

Simon Fairweather, who famously won Australia's only Olympic archery gold medal on home soil in Sydney in 2000, has quit as head coach a year out from the 2012 Games.

Archery Australia (AA) are now conducting a worldwide search for a replacement to fill a more over-arching role as national performance director.

"Undoubtedly there will be some loss of name recognition for the sport following Simon's departure," said AA chief executive Jim Larven.

"But for the future and particularly the way the Australian Sports Commission want to see sports travel we've got to go down this track.

"Sport now is not just focusing on one or two of the elite, it's about focusing on an all-encompassing program.

"Simon decided he wanted to go down a certain direction in archery and that isn't what the sport wanted him to do."

The loss of Fairweather as coach has in part been balanced by the return to action of Korean-born star archer Sky Kim, who represented Australia at the Beijing Olympics.

He adds to the depth in men's archery, with Delhi Commonwealth Games team gold medallists Matthew Gray, Mathew Masonwells and Taylor Worth and former world junior champion Ryan Tyack also targetting London.

Larven is hopeful of luring Beijing Olympian Lexie Feeney out of retirement, with veteran Deonne Bridger currently the country's highest ranked women's archer.

Australia should qualify one male and one female archer for the London Games at the Oceania tournament in New Zealand in January.

There are only three remaining vacancies in the Olympic men's and women's teams events which will be filled at a qualifying meet in Utah in June, just a month before the London Games.


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