Inside the sprawling Yamuna Sports Complex's Archery Stadium, England's Nicky Hunt and Nichola Simpson train relentlessly trying to hit the bull's eye stationed 70m away during the practice session on Saturday.
Hunt, the new World No. 1 archer in the women's compound section, will be under pressure to keep her reputation intact as she gears up for the competition beginning on Monday, with Ashley Wallace of Canada and South Africa's Jorina Coetzee likely to give a stiff fight.
“The archery field is quite open, but the two (Wallace and Coetzee) will be my main competitors. However, I am keen to perform well,” said Hunt.
For Hunt, the 2010 Games, has been the prime motivating factor in the last four years. “This could be my only opportunity to be part of a big multi-sport games, that's really the thing that has driven me over the last three or four years,” she was quoted as saying by the BBC.
Hunt's moment of glory came this year when she bagged a gold medal in the World Cup (Stage IV) in Shanghai that helped her reach the World No. 1 ranking displacing Wallace from the top.
Later, Hunt suffered a shock defeat to her compatriot and wild-card entrant Andrea Gales in the opening round of the World Cup final in Edinburgh.
The defeat didn't upset her calculations and she remains No. 1. “It's a great feeling to be at the top of the world. It's fantastic,” she said.
The charm of No. 1 hasn't helped the 25-year-old in a big way as she continues to look for sponsorship. Hunt works as a physiotherapist at the National Health Service at Suffolk.
“It's a nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday job. And I get to train only after my work. But, with the time I get I train hard and go to the gym. With sponsorship, I can train harder and win more medals at international events,” she said.
Hunt was lured to the sport at the age of 11 by her elder brother Chris Hunt and she has been enjoying it ever since. “I didn't find it boring at all. It's quite addictive and aiming at targets really fascinated me,” she said.
Though Hunt is concentrating on the Games, her desire remains to win the gold at the World championship to be held in Torino (Italy) next year.
“I have won two World Cups (the second in Croatia in 2009). Now it'll be wonderful if I bag a gold in the World championship,” said Hunt.
Keywords: Commonwealth Games 2010