For newly-crowned British archery champion Tom Hall, his journey to the summit all started at a fresher’s fair.

Hall’s journey is a peculiar one, not taking up the sport at a young age unlike many of his competitors and instead getting hooked while studying for his Chemistry degree at Warwick University.

He was recently part of the team that secured three Olympic selection spots at the World Championships in Hertogenbosch, and this weekend won gold at the National Tour Finals at Caldicot Castle in the men’s 70m recurve event.

But no matter how high he rises, Croydon-born Hall says he’ll never forget that moment when archery first caught his eye.

“I can’t think too much about Tokyo because it doesn’t feel real if I do,” the 29-year-old said.

“It’s not too long ago when I was doing UK tournaments for fun and this was just my hobby.

“I never intended to be here and this was never a career plan for me - I just picked it up at university as I thought ‘this would be a bit of fun for me to do on a Wednesday afternoon’ and a nice cheap hobby.

“Archery just caught my eye at the sports fair and I thought ‘I’ll give it a go!’

“I never expected to be here and if you think too much about it it's a little bit crazy.

“In the bubble I live where it’s just the squad and we’re focussed 24/7 this just feels normal and natural now, and it’s only when I compare it to the rest of my life that it gets a bit crazy.

“It would be mixed emotions on that plane, but I’d keep my emotions under control and just focus on the job as it’s another tournament to do.”

Hall’s remarkable 2019 season drew to a close in South Wales, as he defeated fellow Great Britain team-mate Alex Wise 6-2 in the final. 

Wise was one of the heroes who similarly helped his country secure the maximum quota of three selection spots, finishing seventh in the World Championships and as one of the top eight teams who confirmed their trio of places in Japan.

And as he heads into the more important year of his archery career to date, Hall reflected fondly on what was an unforgettable season for him and his fellow British archers.

“Getting those Olympic quota places was enormous and definitely the highlight of the season - that was our goal for the whole year and we pulled it off,” he added.

“It’s been a whirlwind season - in January we decided we needed to train harder and smarter and upgrade and we absolutely put ourselves through the mill for three months.

“I then got on the plane to the World Cup and I’m not sure my feet have touched the floor after that!”

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