30 May 2019

Stretton and MacQueen ready to reprise dream team at worlds

Jess Stretton and Nathan MacQueen are looking forward to reuniting as a double act as they head to the World Archery Para Championships in s-Hertogenbosch.

The GB duo, who claimed a mixed team silver at the European Para Archery Championships in Pilsen last year, are hoping to go one better this time around ahead of next summer’s Paralympics.

The pair are two of the 14 Para athletes selected to represent Great Britain in the Netherlands, and while they will each get the chance to compete individually, it’s the team event that is providing the most excitement.

“I’m probably most looking forward to shooting in the mixed team with Jess. We got on really well as a pair and we bounce off each other,” MacQueen said.

“The medal with Jess has been a big part of my success, and we’ve got an ethos in the squad that we dare to own our own performances. Both of those things have improved my confidence.”

Stretton added: “I’ve been practicing a lot with Nathan, there’s been a lot of mixed team shooting.

“We have really good banter when we shoot. We’re always laughing and joking, and we tease each other a lot.

“We haven’t been shooting together for very long at all, but it’s really fun. I would love to go for a mixed team medal at the Paralympics next year too.”

Stretton, 19, is ranked third in the world in the Compound women’s discipline, while Macqueen, 27, is world number eight in the Compound men’s.

And with the prospect of securing an individual spot at Tokyo on the line, MacQueen is looking to draw on recent successes as he aims to notch the top-20 finish that will book his ticket to Japan.

Nathan MacQueen at the Rio Paralympics

“My aim is to continue my form that I’ve had at recent competitions – I’ve medalled at every event this year,” he continued.

“I know the worlds is a bigger competition than the ones I’ve been to this year so far but if I can continue the form that I’ve had recently, I think I will be sitting pretty.

“I’ve always believed that I could be good at archery if I put my all into it, but it’s not a sport that you pick up straight away.

“The best people in the world have been in it for years; it’s just something the more time you put into it the better you will be.

“This year I want to finish in the top five, obviously number one would be nice but I know that’s probably a little bit out of my reach just now.

“Tokyo is pretty much my only aim of next year. I want to make up for things which didn’t quite go my way in Rio.”

While for Stretton, who claimed gold at the Rio Paralympics, after a taste of the podium in 2016, the goal is clear when it comes to the individual.

“My aims going into next week are pretty simple really – go and win a quota place for my country by being ranked as one of the top eight archers.

“I’m more focused on my long-term goals, which is making it to Tokyo. To get there, I need to stay right on top of my game, try and improve my scores and prove that I am ready to compete there.”

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