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Top gun

Geena Davis still causing commotion in archery

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Posted: Tuesday September 21, 1999 12:50 PM

  Geena Davis Geena Davis: "This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be exposed to this amount of stress and level of competition." AP

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Gold-medal archery favorites took a back seat Tuesday to a striking redhead with only a fraction of their talent. But when the redhead is Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis, no one seems to mind.

If raising public awareness of what is considered a second-tier Olympic sport counts for anything, she's the Top Gun of the archery world.

Davis has been hot property since flying into Sydney last week to participate as a wildcard entry in this week's Sydney International Golden Arrow competition -- an Olympic dress rehearsal -- which started Tuesday.

Davis, who finished 24th in the recent United States titles and failed to qualify for Sydney, faced a daunting task Tuesday in her women's first-round knockout match against world championship silver medalist Alison Williamson of Britain.

But despite losing 160-120 in the 18-arrow alternate shot held in windy conditions, she remained upbeat.

"I am humbled by the standard of archers here," Davis said. "It's not good to beat yourself up -- you must just let each arrow go and concentrate on the next one.

"This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be exposed to this amount of stress and level of competition. I just focus on my technique and not worry about the result."

Donning a blue and yellow hat, white Sydney 2000 Olympics top and blue shorts, the Californian admitted archery was more nerve-wracking than acting.

"It's really worse -- in archery there are tangible results -- points. It's character building and it really puts you in touch with yourself," she said.

"Archery is a battle with yourself, a war with yourself. It's really addictive."

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