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London 2012 Paralympics: Danielle Brown beats Mel Clarke in archery final





By Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 10:13 EST, 4 September 2012 | UPDATED: 12:47 EST, 4 September 2012

Great Britain's Danielle Brown dealt with the expectation to successfully defend her Paralympic title at the Royal Artillery Barracks in a tense women's individual compound competition final with team-mate Mel Clarke.

The 24-year-old archer from Steeton, West Yorkshire claimed a 6-4 win over Clarke in a final which went down to the last arrow to add London 2012 gold to her 2008 Paralympic title and 2010 Commonwealth Games team success.

Brown has been one of the faces of the Paralympics and said the success meant more to her than her Beijing triumph.

Brit special: Danielle Brown (right) and Mel Clarke (left) with their archery medals

Brit special: Danielle Brown (right) and Mel Clarke (left) with their archery medals

'I've been really feeling it (the pressure) the last couple of weeks, so to actually come here and manage to keep my head in the right place, I'm chuffed to bits,' she said.

'It's been crazy. I didn't think it would have affected me the way it has.

'My whole family and friends were out there watching me. It was just incredible - I was shaking so much.'

Brown claimed a 6-2 semi-final success over Marina Lyzhnikova and Clarke beat Stepanida Artakhinova, another Russian, 6-0 to set up the all-British clash.

Brown, who was shooting first in her distinctive pink hat, scored nine with her final arrow, meaning Clarke required a maximum 10 to win.

But she shot a seven - her worst score of the final - as the pressure told and Brown triumphed.

'My arrows had all gone and she had to play catch-up," Brown added.

Golden girl: Brown defended her archery title in London

Golden girl: Brown defended her archery title in London

'It was a 10 to tie the set and then we would've had to do a one-arrow shoot off.

'There were a few shots that could've been improved but I managed to pull it out when it mattered. It was good enough.'

Clarke was bronze medallist in Beijing and shot six scores of 10, compared to three scores of 10 for Brown.

But when it came to the final arrow, she was unable to shoot another maximum.

'It was a close match," the 30-year-old from Norwich said.

'I shot really well all day. I'm really proud. It came down to the last arrow and to be that close is brilliant.'

The compound event is not an Olympic discipline and despite her run of success Brown has no intention of switching to the recurve to target both Games in Brazil in four years' time.

History: Brown had also won the 2010 Commonwealth Games title

History: Brown had also won the 2010 Commonwealth Games title

'I'm not going to switch to recurve, I enjoy my compound way too much,' said the law graduate, who will not be able to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games as archery will not be on the Glasgow programme.

'I definitely want to go to Rio. I don't want to go back into law, archery's way more fun.

'The more tournaments I go to, the more experience I get and the better I get.

'When I am down in a match I've got the confidence to shoot strongly and come back.

'I definitely want to do some more able-bodied and stick to the para side as well.'

Like Brown, Clarke now intends to go on to Rio.

'I've got a bronze, I've got a silver, the only one left is a gold,' said Clarke, who had 50 to 60 supporters in the crowd.

Artakhinova claimed bronze with a 7-3 defeat of her team-mate Lyzhnikova.

Iran's Zahra Nemati won the women's individual recurve - W1/W2 gold medal with a 7-3 win over Elisabetta Mijno of Italy.

Grimace: Clarke reacts during the final

Grimace: Clarke reacts during the final

China's Li Jinzhi won bronze with a 6-4 defeat of Veronica Floreno of Italy.

In the women's individual recurve - standing final, China's Yan Huilian claimed a 6-4 win over South Korea's Lee Hwa-sook.

Bronze was won by Milena Olszewska of Poland, who beat Mongolia's Javzmaa Byambasuren 6-2.



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