Archery star John Stubbs insists he’s ready for a tilt at a second Paralympic gold medal this summer, having been named among the Great British squad heading to Tokyo. 

The 55-year-old has been confirmed as one of the four archers with a guaranteed seat on the plane, alongside fellow Paralympic gold medallist Jess Stretton, Rio 2016 veteran Nathan Macqueen and Games debutant Hazel Chaisty. 

As Britain’s most successful archer – with gold at Beijing 2008 and silver alongside Jodie Grinham eight years later among his long list of achievements – the Warrington shooter is eyeing a return to the podium at this year’s rescheduled event. 

And despite having been forced to wait an extra 12 months for a fourth shot on sport’s greatest stage Stubbs – the men’s compound open world No.16 – believes the delay could in fact enhance his medal prospects in the Japanese capital. 

“You’ve got to make sure you don’t underestimate your competition, and bringing back a medal of any description would be huge, but gold is my ultimate drive,” said Stubbs, one of over 1,100 National Lottery-funded elite athletes on UK Sport’s World Class Programme. 

“It’s a big relief to finally have that place confirmed – now it’s all about getting into the best shape possible to try and get that gold. I try to never leave any stone unturned, and I’m working hard to get to where I need to be. 

“At the moment I’m probably feeling fitter than I ever have throughout my career, and that’s probably because I’ve had longer to focus on this one event. The extra 12 months has benefited me if anything, and I feel really positive going forward.”

Having featured at three Paralympics already Stubbs believes London 2012 changed the face of disability sport forever, but that Japan could take the Games to the next level despite the lack of overseas fans. 

And though he is in his mid-50s he hopes a successful display can inspire the older generation back home, with his thoughts having already turned to an appearance at Paris 2024 in three years’ time. 

Stubbs - who is looking to add to the 864 Olympic and Paralympic medals won by Great Britain and Northern Ireland athletes since the advent of National Lottery funding in 1997 - added: “London was the Games that brought everyone together, and disability sport to the forefront of peoples’ attention. Disabled athletes have been taken a lot more seriously since then. 

“Tokyo will be different because of Covid-19, but I think the technology over there can help take it to a whole new environment. 

“To go to a Games at any age is no mean feat, but when you get to my age you might think it’s beyond you. I’d like to prove that age is no barrier, especially in disabled sport. 

“I’m not writing Paris off, because we’ve already started that cycle. Everything’s going to be compressed because of Covid-19, but I think that helps with motivation and I’m looking forward to seeing how everything works out.”

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