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The last archer to represent New Zealand at the Olympic Games was Ken Uprichard in 2004.

Next year Olivia Hodgson is planning for that to change.

“Getting to represent New Zealand and wear that silver fern in international competitions has been amazing so the Olympics would be another level, I just need to push on and see how far I can go.”

The 25-year-old archer from South Canterbury was half of the duo which secured New Zealand a mixed team quota spot for archery at Tokyo 2020.

Shooting at the Continental Qualification Tournament in Samoa in 2019, Hodgson teamed up with Adam Kaluzny, beating Australia in a tense final to claim the Olympic quota spot.

“Qualifying that spot was an incredible experience. I was quite jetlagged at the time, it was an awesome match and it really came down to the wire as well. I was really happy”

Hodgson went straight from the range in Samoa to the airport, where she flew to Tokyo to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Test Event.

“I flew 20 hours, landed, went to the hotel, ate and then competed the next day.

“It was a great experience getting to shoot where the Olympics will be. I was jetlagged but it went well and was extremely helpful to test the conditions over there.”

Although the quota spot has been secured the job isn’t done yet for Hodgson.

The New Zealand mixed team needs to be ranked top 16 in the world to meet the World Archery and NZOC criteria for Tokyo 2020.

“Over the next few months we need to be consistent and place highly at world events. We’ve got a plan around that and hopefully we should be able to get the job done,” said Hodgson.

The archers will be in training camps over the New Zealand summer before hitting the World Cup circuit in early 2020.

With the Olympic Games on the line Hodgson is vowing to make every shot count.

“It would be a dream come true to make it to Tokyo 2020 so we’ll be giving it our all. It would mean a lot of sacrifice and hard work has paid off, it would mean the world!”

 


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