Archery is one of the oldest arts still practised today. The evolution of archery began in early human history, and evidence of ancient archers has been found around the world.

Although archery probably dates back to the Stone Age – around 20,000BC – the earliest people known to have regularly used bows and arrows were the Ancient Egyptians, who adopted archery around 3,000BC for hunting and warfare.

The first-known archery competition relatable to modern times was held in Finsbury, England in 1583 and had 3,000 participants.

Since the advent of gunpowder, archery’s importance in warfare decreased and it developed into a recreational and competitive sport.

Archery first appeared in the Olympic Games in 1900, was contested again in 1904, 1908 and 1920, then again, after an absence of 52 years, from 1972 to the present. The most decorated archer in Olympic history is Hubert Van Innis of Belgium who competed in 1900 and 1920, winning six gold and three silver medals.

64 Athletes (32 women and 32 men)

Women / Men / Recurve Individual / Mixed International Team



The Archery event is comprised of a 60m ranking round and the Olympic matchplay round.


The target face used at the Olympic Games is 122cm in diameter. It is divided into 10 rings with each awarded a score between one and 10, with the innermost ring, measuring just 12.2cm in diameter, worth 10 points.


In the individual competitions, athletes shoot 12 ends of six arrows to complete the 60m ranking round for a maximum score of 720. Archers are then seeded according to their final score. For the Olympic round, athletes shoot in a head-to-head elimination bracket, where the winner of each match advances and the loser is knocked out of the competition. Each match is the best of five sets of three arrows.


In the mixed international team competition, the top-ranked man is paired with the bottom-ranked woman and their cumulative score from the 60m ranking round (with a maximum of 1440 points) used to rank the pair for matchplay.

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