Bo’ness archer is in GB Paralympic squad

260512 Murray and hazel elliot.
260512 Murray and hazel elliot.
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BO’NESS archer Murray Elliot has hit the target - securing selection for this summer’s London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The delighted sportsman declared: “It’s amazing, to go to London, it’s the chance of a lifetime.”

His joy is all the sweeter as wife Hazel, who he met through archery, is a former Scottish champion who has coached him in his ascent to the British team and will also be at the Games in a coaching capacity.

She joked: “I’m sure there will be a TV screen somewhere I can cheer him on!”

Murray (50) makes his Paralympic debut, after just missing out on Beijing four years ago due to international classification rules.

At the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich he will be taking aim for a target the size of a dinner plate - at a distance of 70m, the length between two penalty spots on a football pitch!

Being host nation wasn’t enough to guarantee Great Britain’s archers a London team spot - Murray helped see to that with a sharp performance at last year’s world championships in Turin.

But the part-time IT manager, who has shot for about 20 years, still had to book his individual Paralympic position, which he bounced back from illness to do.

A recent call from the performance director confirmed he was London bound, alongside previous gold medallists.

“It’s been four years of very very hard work. When I received the news I was just incredibly emotional.”

Murray, who suffers from painful spine and pelvic problems which affect his strength, balance and flexibility, can’t wait for the official Team GB launch in London in mid-July.

He has been training for up to six days a week, with two or three hours of shooting, gym and sports psychologist sessions.

The Balbardie Archers’ member has used several venues, including Linlithgow Academy, and Beecraigs Country Park, who give him special out-of-hours access.

Murray moves into the athletes’ village on August 22 and his first men’s recurve ranking event is on August 30, the morning after the opening ceremony.

Competition is then head to head.

Chuffed Hazel said: “I am over the moon that he has been selected for the team.”

Murray said: “Hazel has been my coach and a massive support to me, unbelievably important to what I’ve achieved. To have her there with me is the best feeling ever.”