Newly-Crowned women’s national indoor archery champion Naomi Jones admits she won’t allow her Olympic frustrations to deflect her focus of adding further success.
The University of Edinburgh graduate was victorious last weekend at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena in the compound discipline, but is unable to represent Team GB at the Rio Games in 18 months as she doesn’t compete within the sport’s recurve division.
The 29-year-old, though, who was initially introduced to archery through the use of a recurve bow, switched to the alternative compound division upon recommendation from her coaches at the university’s archery club in 2010.
But Jones, inset, is adamant she harbours little regret and is just enjoying representing both the university and country on an international stage.
Speaking from Breda in The Netherlands after recently relocating to be with her boyfriend, Jones said: “I’m happy to have changed to compound.
“Unfortunately, the compound division isn’t part of the Olympics but there are still plenty of big tournaments that I will compete at in the future such as the outdoor World Cups, so it doesn’t bother me that much. Of course it would be nice but there are also things like the World Championships coming up too.
“It would be good if it was to come back into the Commonwealth Games, as I would have loved to have competed in Glasgow – so we’ll need to see there.”
Jones continues to compete under the university’s banner despite completing her archaeology course in 2011.
Her most recent success south of the border has only whetted her appetite further for more top-podium finishes.
“I was looking for a pretty solid result as I’ve had quite a successful season so far,” she said. “But I didn’t expect to be as successful so it was great. There were a lot of close matches so it was hard work right until the end.
“Edinburgh University has one of the best programmes around and without their support I would not have been able to do the things that I have done.
“There’s a good team there and coaches as well.”
Despite only taking up the sport for the first time after arriving in the Capital from her north London home to study seven years ago, the strides she has made are even more remarkable.
She added: “I spent my first year at university not being very sociable so I decided I needed something to do to get involved in. I thought sport would be good so I tried something totally different really. It didn’t come naturally to me to be honest but you do find that people who have to work the hardest at the start come away with the best results.”