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Olympic Event Eludes Archers

A Saddleback club made a bid to act as host for competitive trials, but they'll be held in Ohio.

October 23, 2003|David Haldane | Times Staff Writer

Despite its best efforts and enthusiastic support from Mission Viejo officials, the Saddleback Archery Club announced Wednesday that it had lost its bid to serve as host for the 2004 U.S. Olympic archery trials.

"We're disappointed," said Julio Campos, president of the 19-month-old club. "I talked to the mayor last night, and the city is disappointed too. We put our best foot forward, but it just wasn't in the cards this year."

Instead of coming to Southern California, the country's best archers will be traveling to Mason, Ohio -- just north of Cincinnati -- for the trials June 14 to 20. The hosts will be the Cincinnati Junior Olympians and the Warren County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"It was very close," said Bradley Camp, executive director of the Colorado-based National Archery Assn., whose 14-member board of governors made the decision Tuesday. "It was a tough call. Everyone submitted a very nice bid."

All told, he said, eight venues, including one in Long Beach, vied to land the event. In the end, Camp said, "I think it was pretty much [decided] on the presentation of the materials -- who they thought could pull off a tournament" of this magnitude.

Campos said his club plans to bid for the Olympic trials again. In the meantime, he said, it will serve as host for the first of four national qualifying archery tournaments, on Nov. 15.

"It's important to get the sport to grow here on the West Coast," he said. "We have a lot of archers [here], but not many tournaments -- we're going to put our money where our mouth is."

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