By Peter Rutherford
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's archers were blown completely off course in the first round of the London Olympics team competition on Saturday, losing 223-212 to Ukraine.
The threesome of Larry Godfrey, Simon Terry and Alan Wills were given a rapturous welcome by a crowd of some 4,500 at Lord's Cricket Ground but failed to capitalize on the support due to gusting winds and the Olympic pressure.
Godfrey, who also competed at the Athens and Beijing Games, could not explain Britain's sub-par performance which saw them eliminated from the team competition. All three will still take part in the men's individual event next week.
"We all went high and whether that was the adrenaline pumping or what I don't know," he said. "We were slow to adjust and they came out and smashed it straight away. 223 is a good score and 212 is way below our usual standard."
Archers can score a maximum of 10 points for hitting the centre of a target 70 meters away.
Wills said that despite the team's elimination he really enjoyed the occasion.
"I felt a bit of nerves and a bit of butterflies to start but it is definitely the most memorable archery experience I have had," he said.
"It is hard for you to compute in your head when you shoot a nice shot and it goes that high. It was like there was something moving it up like raw gusts of wind or something."
Ukraine, anchored by Beijing Games champion Viktor Ruban, take on South Korea in the quarter-finals later on Saturday. The Koreans are going for a fourth consecutive archery team gold medal.
"They are very strong competitors," said Ruban of the Koreans. "Yesterday they broke the world record, but we will still think about the medal."
(Editing by Matt Falloon)
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