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Defeat gives Danielle Brown extra motivation to win gold
Lothersdale archer Danielle Brown starts her bid for Paralympic gold today when she takes part in the ranking round of the women’s compound.
The talented 24-year-old is one of the most high-profile members of the Great Britain team.
She captured the headlines at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi when she became the first athlete with an impairment to be selected to represent England in a non-disabled event.
As if that wasn’t enough, Brown went on to win gold in the women’s team compound along with Nichola Simpson and Nicky Hunt.
It was stunning stuff from the three-time world title winner and the reigning Paralympic champion in the individual compound.
Brown is hugely competitive and wants a second gold medal, but to do so she has to put behind her a rare defeat at the Wool-wich Artillery Barr-acks, where the event is taking place.
She was beaten 7-3 by the Russian Stepanida Artakhinova in the final of May’s London Para Archery International – a test event for London 2012 Brown (pictured) is determined not to place too much importance on the defeat or the fact that it happened at the very venue where she will be aiming to win gold.
She says that the surroundings didn’t affect her performance and is confident that they hold no hidden terrors for her. “It could be anywhere, it could be in a high street somewhere,” she said.
“I don’t want to get too caught up in where it is and where it could be, I just want to concentrate on shooting a target 70m away.”
She knows that she has to focus on getting her preparations right.
She admitted: “I learned a lot from the test event it was a big motivator the sort of kick up the backside that I needed.
“I find losing is a bigger motivator than winning. I wouldn't say that I have become complacent because I know my competition is good and, if I am not at my very best, then I will get beaten.”
Great Britain archery coach Tim Hazell has high hopes for Brown and her colleagues. He has set a target of three to five medals.
He said: “We are a wide-ranging and diverse team, as archery is a very inclusive sport.
“Age-wise we have Dani in her early 20s and Kate Murray who will have her 64th birthday today.”
Hazell believes the archers will receive great support from the British public when they compete at the Royal Artillery Barracks but has encouraged his athletes to treat London 2012 like a “normal competition”.
“There is a huge difference competing at a home Games,” he said. “There is a lot more pressure from friends and family.
“We decided to have a cut-off point and after that we treated it like a normal competition abroad.”