World-class archery is taking place at Lord’s ahead of the London 2012 Olympic event, which will be held at the Home of Cricket.
Lord’s has been transformed for the London Prepares Series, with more than 100 of the world’s finest archers competing between 4-10 October.
The world stage
MCC has supported the idea of hosting the Olympic archery event since the bidding process for the 2012 games, and the Club’s Head of Cricket John Stephenson is excited to see the event taking shape.
“I have to admit I wasn’t sure what to expect before it started,” he said.
“But I watched the ground being set up and I was thrilled with what I saw. MCC are very excited about this test event.”
Stephenson went on to explain the importance to the Club of being one of the 32 venues where Olympic sports will take place across the UK in 2012.
“I think it’s going to be a great thing for our Members, staff and for the game of cricket to be associated with the Olympics,” added the former England Test cricketer.
“Billions of people from around the world will be watching and for them to know that Lord’s is the Home of Cricket can only be beneficial to us.
"There are obviously going to be benefits from having Lord's projected onto the world stage."
Despite stressing that Lord’s is primarily a cricket ground, Stephenson didn’t rule out the possibility of archery returning to NW8 beyond 2012.
“If it hadn’t been the Olympics we probably wouldn’t have considered it [hosting archery],” he added.
“We’ve built up a good relationship with the British Archery team who have practised on the outfield though, so we can’t count out having other archery events in the future.
"It seems to work quite well.”
Tom Dielen, Secretary General of World Archery, described Lord’s as a ‘wonderful’ venue – one he hopes to turn temporarily from the Home of Cricket to the Home of Archery in 2012.
The Belgian also drew on some characteristics shared by Lord’s and the sport of archery itself: “The ground really symbolises our sport because we have the heritage part with the Pavilion and this building (the J.P. Morgan Media Centre) which shows the future.
“I think that’s what archery is as a sport.”
The current test event is one of 42 taking place between May 2011 and May 2012 as part of the London Prepares Series.
The tournament got off to a flying start, with a world record broken in the ranking round by Korean IM Dong-Hyun in the 70-metre round.
Next summer, 5,000 seats will stand on either side of the square to allow spectators the best view of events, but tickets for the test event have been limited to invited local residents, MCC Members, schoolchildren and local junior archery clubs.
Archery at Lord’s - in numbers
23 - targets on the Nursery Ground
4 - warm-up targets on the main ground
5,000 - spectators in 2012
0 – tickets remaining for the Olympic archery
58 – number of men and;
49 – women from;
26 - countries taking part in the test event