STAFFORD’S six-time Olympic archer Alison Williamson MBE is hanging up her bow.
The former world number one and Olympic bronze medallist this week called time on her international career at the age of 42.
Williamson became only the third Brit to take part in six consecutive Olympics when she competed at London 2012. She previously won a bronze medal in Athens in 2004 having first appeared on the Olympic scene in Barcelona in 1992.
As well as Olympic success she won individual and team commonwealth silver medals in Delhi in 2010, along with a host of other international and domestic titles.
In 2012 she was awarded an MBE for services to archery.
Williamson, a primary school teacher, who lives in Great Haywood, said it was not a tough decision to give up international competition after more than 25 years.
“I just couldn’t continue to dedicate the hours needed to be competing at the top level any more,” she said.
“It has been an amazing journey. The sport has been a part of my life since I was six years old and has taken me to places and introduced me to people that I would not have had the pleasure of in any other profession.
“But I put my teaching career on hold to represent my country at various events across the globe and now the time is right to just concentrate on the day job.”
She won her individual bronze by a single point in a nail-biting match with Shu Chi Yuan of Chinese Taipei.
Four years later in Beijing she narrowly missed out on adding to her collection as part of the British Team which lost in the bronze-medal match.
She added: “All the Olympics have been special and hold some incredible memories for me. I suppose the two that stand out would be Athens and of course London. What better way to end your involvement in international competition than at the games in your own country.
Despite ending her international career she will still be involved in archery at grassroots level working with Energize – the county sports partnership for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin – to promote Olympic values and introduce youngsters to the sport.
“Archery is a fantastic activity and that is why I still love being a part of it. And you never know, among the thousands of youngsters I get to meet there may be a budding Olympic champion,” she said.