Indefinite break from archery for London 2012 silver medallist Mel Clarke

Mel Clarke, pictured at the Winter School Games at the UEA Sportspark in Norwich in 2013. Picture: S

Mel Clarke, pictured at the Winter School Games at the UEA Sportspark in Norwich in 2013. Picture: Simon Finlay - Credit: Archant Norfolk

London 2012 Paralympic silver medallist Mel Clarke has announced she is taking a break from archery.

The former Taverham High School pupil now looks unlikely to compete at the Paralympics in Rio in September.

Archery GB has announced that the 33-year-old, a double Paralympic medallist and member of Archery GB's para-archery squad, is taking an 'indefinite break' with immediate effect from international competition, due to personal reasons, including wanting to spend more time with her family.

David Tillotson, performance director at Archery GB, said: 'We very much respect Mel's decision.

'Her contribution to the sport cannot be overstated having competed at the highest level of archery for over 14 years.

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'She is a fantastic ambassador for the sport and the Paralympic movement and we acknowledge the example she has set and the inspiration she's been to all archers.

'We look forward to her return to the sport in the future.'

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Clarke, who is now based in Worcester, underwent wrist surgery in March 2015 and lost in the bronze play-off at the World Para-archery Championships in Germany in August.

The Beijing 2008 individual compound bronze medallist was left paralysed and blind in one eye after contracting Lyme disease, an infection caused by a tick bite, in 2003 and has used a wheelchair since she was 11 due to an arthritic condition.

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