Tokyo Olympics: Naomi Folkard aims to end archery drought five months after giving birth

New mum Naomi Folkard misses daughter Emily as she hopes to end Team GB’s archery drought just five months after giving birth

  • Naomi Folkard starts her fifth Olympics early Friday morning
  • It comes just five months after the British archer gave birth to daughter Emily
  • The Archer is one of Team GB’s growing group of moms at Tokyo 2020
  • She had to express and freeze up to 80 bottles of breast milk to keep Emily fed gevoed
  • Team GB has not won an Archer Medal since Alison Williamson in Athens 2004
  • Read the latest Olympic news in Tokyo, including schedule, medal table and results here

Naomi Folkard will begin her fifth Olympic campaign early Friday morning — just five months after giving birth.

The Archer is one of Team GB’s growing group of moms here in Tokyo, which includes cyclists Laura Kenny and Lizzie Deignan and rower Helen Glover.

But only Folkard has welcomed a baby into the world in this new Olympic year — and she’s had to express and freeze up to 80 bottles of breast milk so her daughter Emily could be fed while she’s in Japan.

Naomi Folkard will start her fifth Olympics on Friday morning – just five months after giving birth

Folkard posted this photo of her and daughter Emily before flying to Tokyo

Folkard posted this photo of her and daughter Emily before flying to Tokyo

“It’s very hard to be away,” said Folkard, who is shooting in the women’s individual standings ahead of Friday night’s opening ceremony.

“But if I focus on my archery and do my best for my team, I will hopefully distract myself from missing her too much.

“It was really crazy, this time I was a new mom and still in the game. I had a birth plan to help me recover as soon as possible after that with Tokyo in mind.

“If the delivery had been a little difficult and I had to have a caesarean section, I would have had to take three months off from archery and Tokyo would have been impossible.

“But as it was, I first shot again two weeks after Emily was born.

“I’ll probably have time to think about what I’ve done after the Olympics. I’m not going to participate for a while and I can focus all my attention and attention on her.’

Team GB has not medaled in archery since Athens 2004, Folkard's first Games (pictured during the 2016 Rio Games)

Team GB has not medaled in archery since Athens 2004, Folkard’s first Games (pictured during the 2016 Rio Games)

The 37-year-old hopes her story will encourage other athletes to have children throughout their careers.

“It’s certainly possible,” Folkard says. “I hope I can inspire other women not to put off having children, because I did. It would have been wonderful to have had Emily ten years ago.”

Team GB has not medaled in archery since Alison Williamson’s bronze medal in Athens 2004, which was also Folkard’s first Games.

She adds: “My greatest ambition lies with our women’s team. At the World Cup two years ago we won a bronze medal and I would like to do that at the Olympics.’

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