Gin Gin's archery world champions
TO call them household names in archery may sound a little far-fetched but when Peter and Heather Bourke are whispered about in archery circles around the world, people stop what they are doing and listen.
The Gin Gin pair only returned from New Zealand as Pacific Champions in July but have already extended their reputation as world-class archers with gold at Buenos Aires in the International Field Archery Association World Indoor Championships.
It was Peter's first and Heather's second world championship crown - the result of lots of hard work.
“It's the culmination of thousands of hours training and preparation, something we have both worked very hard for,” Peter said from Argentina yesterday.
The shoot was run across three days, with three matches taking four to five hours and demanding maximum concentration from the competitors.
It was an extra special win for Peter, going head-to-head with good friend and long-time archery nemesis Steve Kendrick.
The Englishman pushed the champion to the limit and after the final round, only four points separated the pair with Peter producing a remarkable 875.084 from a possible 900.
Bourke only won the first of three shoots against Kendrick but the overall margin was enough for him to secure the Professional Freestyle Unlimited World Indoor Championship.
“It was a close struggle, he is a top international professional archer and the International Field Archery vice-president and the win just makes it all worthwhile because it's something I've worked very hard for,” he said.
Victory was made even sweeter when Kendrick was made to present Bourke's award on behalf of the association.
In contrast, Heather annihilated her nearest competitor, Argentina's Carmon Cuenca, by 102 points in becoming the women's Limited Compound Champion, her fourth world championship medal.
The couple were the only Australian competitors at the event, dominated by South Americans.
They will be back in Argentina in 2012 for the World Field Archery Championships, a gruelling five days of shooting in the Andes.