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Australia’s biggest Paralympic Games archery team in 40 years has been unveiled at a memorable event at Admiralty House in Sydney, hosted by Paralympics Australia’s Patron-in-Chief the Governor-General David Hurley and Mrs Linda Hurley. 

Their Excellencies, who are ardent supporters of the Australian Paralympic Team, presented a framed Coat of Arms and beret to each athlete as they were announced by Chef de Mission Kate McLoughlin. 

Also in attendance were Paralympics Australia President Alison Creagh and representatives from Archery Australia, alongside guests representing Major and Official Partners of Paralympics Australia.  

The six Para-archers named for the Paris Paralympics were: 

  • Jonathon Milne, a bronze medallist at Rio 2016 who will compete at his third Paralympic Games. 
  • Taymon Kenton-Smith, selected for his second Paralympic Games. 
  • Amanda Jennings, a Rio 2016 Para-canoe silver medallist and two-time Paralympian who transitioned to archery after Tokyo 2020.  
  • Ameera Lee, who narrowly missed selection for Tokyo 2020 and will make her Paralympic debut in Paris. 
  • Melissa Tanner, a former canoeist who will make her Paralympic debut. 
  • Patrick French, a rising star who will make his Paralympic debut.  

The team had won seven quota spots but, sadly, reigning W1 men’s World Champion Christopher Davis was forced to withdraw from the team due to injury. Davis underwent shoulder surgery on Wednesday. 

The last time Australia had seven archers qualify for the Paralympics was in 1976. The six-strong team to compete in Paris 2024 is the largest since 1984.  

Australia has won just three gold medals in archery at the Paralympic Games, one in 1960 and two in 1968. Milne’s bronze medal in 2016 remains Australia’s only podium result in four decades. 

National Para-archery coach Ricci Cheah said this squad had the ability to secure breakthrough results.  

“Jono will be a pretty good medal chance because the way that he is shooting currently places him in the top percentile,” Cheah said. “He needs to be able to replicate what he’s doing here at home. If he can catch a lucky break, if it’s his day, then that’s a medal chance for sure.  

“Besides that, as well, there’s our mixed teams. In the compound, Jono with either Ameera or Mel will be a good chance for a team medal. In the mixed teams for recurve, there’s a good chance of getting to the quarter finals or even semis, but both AJ and Taymon need to shoot well.” 

Cheah has been a driving force in the resurgence of Para-archery after Australia didn’t field any archers at Beijing 2008 or London 2012.  

“I’m always pleased with progress, no matter how small or how big. But, like other coaches, I’m a bit greedy and always want more,” he said.  

“But I am pleased with everyone, the athletes, the staff. Building up a group of assistant coaches in Para-archery was important to me after Tokyo.  

“As an Archery Australia program, it’s been really big learning process. We had a massive influx of participants after Tokyo and we’ve had to work out what to do with them and how to build them up. 

“After these Games there’s always more plans and more development, trying to make the team bigger and of course aiming for the 2032 Games.” 

McLoughlin, the Chef de Mission, said archery had been one of the success stories of the cycle since the Tokyo Games.  

“Consistently strong results in global competition, including Australia’s first ever Para-archery world championship gold medal, have been a fair reward for enormous effort and pursuit of excellence by everyone associated with the program,” McLoughlin said.  

“The athletes selected to represent Australia at the Paris Paralympics have had to work extremely hard to be picked in this squad, such is the depth of talent that has emerged under the expert guidance of Ricci and his team. 

“Congratulations to the squad named today. It will be a spectacular competition at Esplanade des Invalides and we can’t wait to see you all in action. 

“I’d also like to add that this has been a very special team announcement. On behalf of Paralympics Australia, I would like to thank Their Excellencies for hosting a wonderful event today and also sincere gratitude for their long-standing support of our Paralympic teams.” 

Further comments from National Para-archery coach Ricci Cheah: 


On Amanda Jennings: 

“I’m impressed by what AJ has achieved. It goes to show that talent transfers can be a big thing in Para- archery. 

“I didn’t need to teach her how to be an elite athlete. Her work ethic is really good. She trains, she listens, she’s really coachable, and it was a pretty easy transition for her because she’s strong in her upper body.  

“She slotted in straight away, we just hammered down some foundations and then next thing you know, World Champs and Paralympics. 


On Melissa Tanner: 

“Mel’s also from canoe. She’s doing a different bow – compound, not recurve – but same thing, she has a really good work ethic, she’s relentless and trains very, very hard. Just as hard as Jono, which is a lot, maybe too much.” 


On Patrick French: 

“He is the wildcard. He’s young, new to the sport and has an amazing amount of potential. The Paralympics will be just his second ever international tournament.  

“He’s just leapfrogged everyone. He won Australia a second quota spot at the continental qualifier and then secured his place by coming second at the Paralympic trials.  

“He’s got a good coach and he trains a lot too. He has that sort of personality where his actions and mentality say that he’s not there just to wear the green and gold, he’s there to win.” 


On Ameera Lee: 

“It’s been a long time coming. I was coaching Ameera back in 2014, I think. The Paralympics was always on the cards, I knew that it was just a matter of time. I thought Tokyo would be the one but just a few extra years of mental maturity in archery and experience has really helped her. She’s a hard worker, very humble, talented.” 


On Jonathon Milne: 

“He competed recently at an able-bodied world cup event in Korea just so we could see how he’s going under pressure and whether we needed to make any changes to his bow or his technique.  

“That was really great. We got to nail down a few things over there, and then he and the compound men’s team won bronze, which was Jono’s first able-bod medal.  

“It shows him that he has what it takes to medal on the international able bodied scene. Now he’s got a bit of a bug and he wants to shoot at more able-bod comps, like next year’s World Championships.  

“He’s tracking really well. It’s just about making sure that he can perform when it counts and does everything that he needs to do.” 


On Taymon Kenton-Smith: 

“Taymon missed out on a quota spot for Tokyo, we applied for a bipartite position and he was lucky he got that spot. But, this time, winning a quota spot and coming first at the trials really seals the deal for him.  

“I think he’s really excited about that, which he should be. I would say he’s in a good headspace for the Games itself, but still needs a bit of time, a bit of work to get him medal-ready at Paralympic level.” 


By David Sygall, Paralympics Australia.

Published 21 June, 2024.