Yorkshire archer Brown leads way in Paralympics campaign despite her ‘worst score of year’

DANIELLE Brown shot her worst score of the year as she began her London 2012 Paralympic archery campaign with the ranking round – but it was still good enough for first overall.

The 24-year-old, from Lothersdale, shot a score of 338 from her first 36 arrows at the Royal Artillery Barracks and recorded the exact same number with her last 36 to end with 676 overall.

That was the best score of the 12-strong field in the women’s individual compound open event and was exactly the same number as her Paralympic record set at Beijing 2008.

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However, it was 21 down on the world record Brown set at the European Championships in France two years ago, where she won gold, and her worst ranking round of the year so far.

Brown’s emotions were mixed as a result but she is confident that she won’t be disappointed when she next takes to the range at the Royal Artillery Barracks for the quarter-finals on Sunday.

“It is always nice to shoot well and record a really good score in the ranking round and I shot the worst score of the year,” said Brown – who won gold at Beijing 2008.

“But my worst score of the year is still top and at the end of the day you can’t get complacent with the ranking round.

“It is the head to heads that count and I am not shooting until Sunday now so I get lots of practice time.

“I have been really fortunate to go away to tournaments so I have had the experience of maybe not being too happy with my score in the ranking and shot well in the head-to-head matches.

“So in that respect I am quite confident that it doesn’t mean it is going to be bad.”

Brown’s first-placed ranking gives her a bye to the quarter-finals – a situation enjoyed by fellow Yorkshire archer Phillip Bottomley after his performance in the men’s individual recurve standing ranking round.

Bottomley, from Bradford, shot 630 from his 72 arrows at the Royal Artillery Barracks to place third overall with British team-mate Kenny Allen recording a new Paralympic record of 651 for the lead.

Both will next be in action tomorrow for the knockout stages, receiving byes past the first round, but Bottomley is taking his ranking round performance for granted.

“I thought I was fourth but I am third and that was a big shock. Kenny got a personal best of 651 and a Paralympic record and is ranked No 1,” said Bottomley.

“But I am taking each day as it comes. This is my first Paralympics and I am enjoying it and I enjoyed the opening ceremony too.”

Elsewhere, cyclist Sarah Storey and swimmer Jonathan Fox ensured Britain’s home Paralympic Games got off to a golden start.

Former swimmer Storey won the eighth Paralympic gold of a glittering career, dominating the C5 three-kilometre individual pursuit final to such an extent that she caught opponent Anna Harkowska little more than halfway through the race.

Fox, meanwhile, became Britain’s first gold medallist in the pool when he won a thrilling S7 100m backstroke trace.

The 21-year-old had lowered his own world record in the heats earlier, dipping under 1min 10secs for the first time.

But he had to fight off Ukrainian Yevheniy Bohodayko, who staged a storming finish in the final before Fox held him off and emerged triumphant.

There was also a silver for Welsh cyclist Mark Colbourne – Britain’s first medal of the Games – in the C1-2-3 1km time trial, while Essex powerlifter Zoe Newson marked her Paralympic debut with an under-40kg bronze and Ben Quilter took an under-60kg judo bronze.

Great Britain brought the wheelchair basketball tournament to life as they came from 18 points down to force overtime against Germany before losing 77-72.

In a frantic contest as the clock ticked down, Middlesbrough’s Terry Bywater was unable to sink a last-gasp off-balance shot to win it at the buzzer before Germany dominated the extra period.

Paralympics: Page 7.

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