Olympian Larry focuses on new target
Larry Godfrey has put his Olympic disappointment behind him as he aims to win archery's World Cup Final in Tokyo this weekend.
The 36-year-old Bristolian was eliminated in a single-arrow shoot-off in the last 16 at Lord's last month – but has already started the four-year cycle to reach the next Olympics in Rio in 2016.
Godfrey flew to Japan on Tuesday for Sunday's prestigious World Cup Final, an event he claims is second only to the Olympics in the archery world.
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Only eight archers qualify for the World Cup Final – seven based on their performance in the three qualifying events and one from the host nation.
In Tokyo this weekend, Godfrey is ranked third, while the home nation qualifier is Takaharu Furukawa, who won Olympic silver in London last month.
"This is the elite of the sport," said Godfrey. "Seven of the archers here have won their place and the eighth, from the host nation, just won Olympic silver.
"This is the best of the best in archery, and I am ranked third, so it's another chance for me to confirm that I am one of the best in the world.
"That is what makes the Olympics so disappointing, even though my level in London was good enough to win a medal."
Qualification for Tokyo was so tough that even Olympic champion Oh Jin Hyek has not made the final grade.
International archery's depth is further highlighted by the fact that Godfrey's opening-round opponent in Japan on Sunday, Kim Woo Jin, is the world champion but did not qualify for the Olympics.
"That's where we are in archery at the moment – and this weekend is a good chance for me to show I am at that level," said Godfrey. "This is the top event in archery apart from the Olympics."
Godfrey has been grateful to have both his day job at Rolls-Royce, plus the British National Series – which he won – and World Cup Final to focus on in the wake of the Olympics.
He missed the Olympic parade in London last week to focus on his preparations for Tokyo – and is pleased to be looking forward rather than back.
"A lot of (fellow Olympians) I have talked to don't really know what to do with themselves," he said. "Medal or no medal, all the press stuff comes to an end at some point and some people really don't know what to do.
"I am lucky, partly in that I have now done three Olympic cycles and know what it's about, but also in that I have been able to go back to work. That has been great for me.
"I've also had these competitions to focus on, which has been great, and we're already into the cycle for the Rio Games. We will see what happens, but I'm 36 and, in my sport, there's no reason why I can't go to Rio and possibly the one after.
"The guy who won silver in Athens (Hiroshi Yamamoto) was 43, so at the level I'm shooting at, there is no reason not to keep going."