Ancient archery event cancelled due to virus

London (AFP) –


A British archery competition that has been running for more than 300 years has been cancelled for the first time since the 1940s because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ancient Silver Arrow tournament had been set to take place in northern England on May 16.

Organisers describe it as the world's longest-established and oldest recorded sporting event, dating back to 1673.

The Society of Archers was formed in that year for the purpose of maintaining the skill.

A statement on the event website said: "The 312th recorded meeting in the 348th year of The Society of Archers' Antient Silver Arrow Tournament has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. The shoot will take place again in 2021."

The competition is open to any "gentleman archer aged over 21 shooting in the long bow or any other bare bow and, since 1947, the recurve bow".

Modern compound bows are not allowed at the event, to which competitors travel from as far afield as Australia and the United States.