Winmalee archer named seventh in the world

Jessie-Rose Walklate-Cooke from Winmalee won a gold medal in junior girls freestyle B grade and came seventh overall in the world in the junior girls division at the World IFAA Field Archery Championships in the United States earlier this month.

Jessie-Rose Walklate-Cooke from Winmalee won a gold medal in junior girls freestyle B grade and came seventh overall in the world in the junior girls division at the World IFAA Field Archery Championships in the United States earlier this month.

Jessie-Rose Walklate-Cooke returned home to Winmalee recently with another title to add to her growing collection.

The 15-year-old archer from Lithgow Valley Archers competed in the Australian team in the World International Field Archery Association (IFAA) Field Archery Championships at Yankton, South Dakota in the United States.

She won a gold medal in junior girls freestyle B grade and came seventh overall in the world in the junior girls division.

After being named national junior girls champion in three field archery styles and breaking two Australian records at the Australian National Championships in Harvey Bay, Queensland, in April, Rosie was invited by the national body join the Australian team and compete in the five-day world championships earlier this month.

"Support from our local club and branch was amazing with heaps of people pitching in with the fundraising to assist to getting her to the USA," said Rosie's dad Jeremy.

"She trained hard with two coaching sessions a week and shot at all local and state events that were on before the words began."

It was a long journey to Yankton - 53 hours of travel, three flights and a mini bus ride - but with a few days' rest and a little bit of practice the team were on a high at the opening ceremony, joining 250 competitors from 19 countries.

The archers took on 28 targets from varying distances, with the person with the highest score over the week winning. Rosie fought hard all week and kept her focus strong, managing scores of 501, 508, 548, 503 and 520 in each round out of a possible 560 points. This overall score was a personal best and she came home with a gold medal in her division and a number seven world ranking.

But most of all she had an experience of a life time.

"I can't believe I have to leave all of these amazing people behind. I'm going to remember these friendships and memories I've made for the rest of my life," Rosie said.

The IFAA World Field Archery Championships occur biennually, with the next event to be held in Wagga Wagga in 2016.

Rosie has her sights set on this event, but also plans to branch out into target archery, and possibly compete in the national and world championships in that style of archery next year.

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