AMERICAN and South African military veterans challenged British ex-servicemen to an archery contest.

The veterans, who were mostly blinded in Iraq and Afghanistan, used assistive technology such as tactile aiming devices to shoot balloons at a distance of 20 feet.

Following a tie-breaker, the British veterans emerged victorious.

British veteran Simon Brown, who was blinded by a sniper bullet in 2006 while serving in Iraq, said: “Archery is normally thought of as a sport where you have to rely on your sight.

“Being able to do it even with sight loss was incredibly liberating and a confidence-builder for blind veterans from all three nations.

“It also proved that Blind Veterans UK’s members can hold their own with a bow and arrow.”

The competition took place at Blind Veterans UK’s rehabilitation and training centre in Ovingdean, Brighton.

It was a part of Project Gemini, an exchange programme between the charity and the US organisation Blinded Veterans Association (BVA). Dr Tom Zampieri of the BVA said: “One of the important aspects of Project Gemini is to highlight just how common sight loss in action is – around 10% of wounded British Service personnel and 16% of wounded Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan suffered some form of blindness.”