Tue, Jul 31, 2012 - Page 19 News List

London 2012 Olympics: S Korean archers claim seventh consecutive gold

Reuters, LONDON

South Korea’s Choi Hyeon-ju fires an arrow in the women’s team archery semi-finals at Lord’s in London on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

South Korea won the Olympic women’s team archery title for the seventh consecutive time on Sunday after beating China in the final at Lord’s in London.

The South Korean trio of Ki Bo-bae, Lee Sung-jin and Choi Hyeon-ju scored 210 points from their 24 arrows to beat the Chinese by a single point. Each arrow can score a maximum of 10 points by hitting the center of a target 70m away from the archers.

For the second day in a row, the gold medal came down to the very last arrow, Ki needing a nine or better to win the match. She nailed the nine to spark celebrations with her teammates and coach.

South Korea’s gold medal will be met with elation and relief back home after the men’s team, champions in Sydney, Athens and Beijing, had to settle for bronze after losing to the US in the semi-final.

South Korea’s women have now won 13 of the past 14 archery gold medals and they will be heavy favorites to add to their tally in the individual event.

Choi said that their success had given rise to such expectation in South Korea that returning home without the gold was virtually inconceivable.

“It’s true people tend to think that we should always win the women’s archery gold medal, but at the same time that pressure has made us more determined to reach our goals,” she said. “Britain is such a long way from Korea and coming here was so difficult. The hardest thing was dealing with the changeable weather, but really it’s been the greatest honor to take part in the Olympics in London.”

For the Chinese, it was the third Olympics in a row where they finished second best to the South Koreans.

Cheng Ming said it was a great experience to face the South Koreans, but getting the silver left her with mixed feelings.

“First of all I’m excited, but at the same time it’s such a shame, a pity,” Cheng said. “In the individual event I will accumulate more experience.”

Japan beat Russia to win the bronze medal match. It was the first women’s archery medal for Japan at an Olympics.

Taiwan were beaten by Russia in the quarter-finals in a shootout after the team’s tied 216-216.

Additional reporting by Staff writer

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