The unlikely Commonwealth Games story of Selkirk archer Doris Jones ended with a David and Goliath showdown in New Delhi on Saturday morning.
This time David lost the gold-medal final to the world's No. 1 ranked competitor -- but only by a single point.
"I would say this is one of my biggest accomplishments," Jones said, via email from India, after capturing her second silver medal for Canada at the Games in women's compound archery. "My goal was to do my best and bring back the gold for Canada. Although I didn't win the gold I still brought back the silver. Matches can go either way and I did set high expectations for myself and I think I did really well and still completed my goal."
Here's the thing, though: While England's Nicky Hunt entered the final ranked No. 1, the 21-year-old Jones -- who had rarely competed the last three years and only entered qualifying for Team Canada this past summer because the competition was held in Winnipeg -- isn't ranked, period. Yet Jones, who earlier won a silver in New Delhi as a member of Canada's women's team, advanced to the individual final on Saturday by defeating Janette Hoswell of Wales (6-0) and Australia's Cassie McCall (7-3).
Making matters worse, Jones was fighting an inner-ear infection.
"My ear is doing alright," she said. "I will have to go and see a doctor about it when I get back home as it still likes to plug up. My coach says I was weaving a bit so it may have affected my performance a bit but it's not like anyone would have noticed as I shot really well."
Unfortunately for Jones, a former world junior champion who has been estranged from competition due to a lack of funding, compound archery is not an Olympic event. (Unlike the recurve competition that features Winnipeg Olympian Jay Lyon). So even the silver Jones captured in India can't be melted down to pay for the half-dozen World Cups that England's Hunt and many other shooters at the Games rely on to establish a world ranking. Said Jones: "I would like to compete in more competitions but with the cost of travel and no real support it is hard, but I will try my best."
However, there was no lack of support for Jones back in Selkirk, where the entire Jones family watched the drama unfold in a "shot-by-shot" account of the event on an archery website in the middle of the night.
"I would have liked to have seen it in person," noted father, Tim, who also serves as his daughter's coach. "But even seeing the scores as they were posted, you're wishing, praying she keeps them solid. It was play-by-play, arrow-by-arrow. It was unbelievable."
Perhaps almost as unbelievable as Jones' performance, taking Hunt to the fifth and final set before succumbing 6-4.
"When she won to go to the gold-medal final, she was excited," added Tim, who had contact with his daughter just before the gold-medal match. "I had to tell her to calm down. She knew it (the final) was going to be hard."
In the end, it was arrows instead of stones. And Goliath won by a hair.