Alison Williamson - Dashed Hopes In Sydney
Dashed Hopes in Sydney
Williamson approached her fourth Olympics, the 2000 Sydney Games, with high hopes. Having been briefly ranked top in the world before the Olympics but going into the Games officially listed as third, the near 30-year-old again represented Team BG. She started out with superb results, shooting a perfect ten with her final arrow to attain the last sixteen of the archery competition. She won 157-154 against Turkish player Elif Altinkaynak, hitting the 12.2 cm bull from a distance of 70 meters.
Competition intensified when Williamson faced off against South Korean favorite Kim Soo-Nyung, called by some the best archer in history. Kim had won gold at both the 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona Games. Ironically, it was another South Korean, 17-year-old Yun Mi-Jin in the women's individual archery event who knocked medal hopeful Williamson out of the last sixteen with an Olympic record score of 173 for eighteen arrows. Williamson scored her best total of 164 in the Games and placed an overall tenth, while Yun, Kim, and fellow teammate Kim Nam-Soon took a Korean sweep of the medals.
Williamson is an intense competitor. She has a habit of waiting until the last moment before shooting her arrows in quick succession. To focus on her craft, Williamson employs a sports psychologist with whom she communicates frequently, and listens to tapes to help her concentrate and visualize matches. She is also an avid reader, and once was photographed nude in halflight for an exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery. Williamson is an honorary life member of the Long Mynd Archers society.
Alison Williamson excelled in archery throughout European competition and four Olympic games. She attributes her success in the demanding sport to concentration and establishing a balance between the physical and psychological. She noted in an article for Sports Illustrated for Women that archery requires patience, precision, and purity of movement—qualities she has mastered as evidenced by her many victories.