Olympic target in sight for Sydney University archer

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Having just missed out on qualifying for this year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games, Sydney University archer Peter Boukouvalas has his sights set on the 2024 Paris Games and the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

And, if the Australian bid succeeds, the 2032 Brisbane Games.

It’s not an idle aim. Last weekend he won the Australian Open, in the Male Recurve (a single string bow) division at Sydney Olympic Park Archery (SOPA) centre, coming through four rounds of elimination matchplay to reach the gold medal match where he defeated Alex Smith 6-2 for the gold medal.

Taylor Worth is a member of Australia’s recurve archery team for the Tokyo Games along with David Barnes and Ryan Tyack, who also competed at the National tournament. The four-day Open included a practise round on Thursday, a ranking round on Friday, one-on-one matches on Saturday and the final on Sunday.

Peter’s interest in archery was first piqued as a five-year-old. “I have Greek heritage and was watching the 2004 Athens Olympic Games on television with my grandparents when the Australian archers came on competing,” he said.

“It really took my interest and I’d wanted to try out archery ever since. I took up the sport when I was in Year 12 in 2016, and decided to take it seriously in 2017 and started training at SOPA.”

Peter started a BSc degree at UTS in 2017 but didn’t take to the course. He went back in 2018 and started a Nursing degree but didn’t like that either.

“I’ve been working for State Rail to support my archery training and competition and earned a place on the Paris 24 Pathway (recurve archery) program run by Archery Australia and funded by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS),” he said.

“The AWE lead from the AIS that manages archery suggested I look into going back to uni. I took the advice applied to the University of Sydney and was accepted.”

It was good advice. He enrolled at Sydney University this year in a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Criminology) degree, joined the campus archery club, and was taken into Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness’ Elite Athlete Program.

“I really like the Sydney Uni campus – it’s movie-like,” he said. “Walking around the old buildings you think of all the people who have been here going back to the 19th century.

“Sydney Uni Archery Club is located at St John’s College, where I sometimes train on campus. But I mainly train at SOPA and at Liverpool City Archers where I’m an associate member. I normally train four hours a day, six or seven days a week.”

Peter’s dream of representing his country came true when he was selected for the Trans Tasman tournament against New Zealand in Victoria after the Junior Nationals in 2018.

He was also selected in Australian squads for the Asia Cup Stage 3 tournaments at Taipai City, Taiwan, in 2019, and the Philippines in 2020. The Asia Cup attracts many top archers and ranks just under the World Cup.

He finished 8th at the 2020 Australia Open, being knocked out 6-2 by Taylor in the quarter-finals, and then selected for the Oceania Continental Championships which were to be held in Fiji but were postponed and then cancelled because of Covid.

“In the near future, I’m hoping to go the world championships in September and the Australian nationals in Tasmania which are coming up in October this year,” he said. “But long-term I’m working towards attending the next three Olympic Games – Paris, Los Angeles and hopefully Brisbane. I want to go to all of them.”

On form and effort that’s not a wild dream.

Having just missed out on qualifying for this year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games, Sydney University archer Peter Boukouvalas has his sights set on the 2024 Paris Games and the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

And, if the Australian bid succeeds, the 2032 Brisbane Games.

It’s not an idle aim. Last weekend he won the Australian Open, in the Male Recurve (a single string bow) division at Sydney Olympic Park Archery (SOPA) centre, coming through four rounds of elimination matchplay to reach the gold medal match where he defeated Alex Smith 6-2 for the gold medal.

Taylor Worth is a member of Australia’s recurve archery team for the Tokyo Games along with David Barnes and Ryan Tyack, who also competed at the National tournament. The four-day Open included a practise round on Thursday, a ranking round on Friday, one-on-one matches on Saturday and the final on Sunday.

Peter’s interest in archery was first piqued as a five-year-old. “I have Greek heritage and was watching the 2004 Athens Olympic Games on television with my grandparents when the Australian archers came on competing,” he said.

“It really took my interest and I’d wanted to try out archery ever since. I took up the sport when I was in Year 12 in 2016, and decided to take it seriously in 2017 and started training at SOPA.”

Peter started a BSc degree at UTS in 2017 but didn’t take to the course. He went back in 2018 and started a Nursing degree but didn’t like that either.

“I’ve been working for State Rail to support my archery training and competition and earned a place on the Paris 24 Pathway (recurve archery) program run by Archery Australia and funded by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS),” he said.

“The AWE lead from the AIS that manages archery suggested I look into going back to uni. I took the advice applied to the University of Sydney and was accepted.”

It was good advice. He enrolled at Sydney University this year in a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Criminology) degree, joined the campus archery club, and was taken into Sydney Uni Sport’s Elite Athlete Program.

“I really like the Sydney Uni campus – it’s movie-like,” he said. “Walking around the old buildings you think of all the people who have been here going back to the 19th century.

“Sydney Uni Archery Club is located at St John’s College, where I sometimes train on campus. But I mainly train at SOPA and at Liverpool City Archers where I’m an associate member. I normally train four hours a day, six or seven days a week.”

Peter’s dream of representing his country came true when he was selected for the Trans Tasman tournament against New Zealand in Victoria after the Junior Nationals in 2018.

He was also selected in Australian squads for the Asia Cup Stage 3 tournaments at Taipai City, Taiwan, in 2019, and the Philippines in 2020. The Asia Cup attracts many top archers and ranks just under the World Cup.

He finished 8th at the 2020 Australia Open, being knocked out 6-2 by Taylor in the quarter-finals, and then selected for the Oceania Continental Championships which were to be held in Fiji but were postponed and then cancelled because of Covid.

“In the near future, I’m hoping to go the world championships in September and the Australian nationals in Tasmania which are coming up in October this year,” he said. “But long-term I’m working towards attending the next three Olympic Games – Paris, Los Angeles and hopefully Brisbane. I want to go to all of them.”

On form and effort that’s not a wild dream.

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