Women archers overcome weather
By Kim Ji-soo
Korea’s women archers ― Lee Sung-jin, Choi Hyeon-ju and Ki Bo-bae ― embraced the pressure and achieved a seventh consecutive Olympic title on Monday.
In a repeat final reminiscent of the Beijing Games, the trio beat China 210-209 to continue the team’s winning streak that began ever since archery became an Olympic sport in 1988.
As unpredictable wind blew and rain fell at Lord’s Cricket Ground, the match grew tense.
Korea started out slow when leadoff Lee Sung-jin shot a 7, and Choi Hyeon-ju followed with an 8. When Ki shot a 6, the tension grew sharply. But China also wavered, with Cheng Min, Xu Jing and Fang Yuting shooting 8-7-8. The Koreans then pushed forward with the next three arrows with 9-9-10. Xu and Fang then each shot a 7 to trail by two.
Korea led 184-182 with three arrows remaining but China closed with three 9s. It was at this point that Lee hit a 9 and Choi an 8, leaving Ki needing 9 or above for the gold, which she duly delivered.
"I knew I wouldn't have any problems as long as I stuck to my routine," the 24-year-old Ki said. "I am just so happy that I've won such a special medal.”
Lee, who also won the team gold in Athens said, “It's hard to compare the two gold medals because I've come a long way for this title.”
Choi, making her first Olympic appearance despite a shoulder injury said, “I was a little bit off because of the injury. But I held on until the end so that I would not disadvantage my colleagues.”
Jang Young-sool, head coach of the archery delegation, said the female archers had been struggling in their buildup to the Olympics and praised them for coming through in a clutch situation and Choi in particular for battling through the pain.
"This gold medal has come at an especially difficult time, compared to the previous team gold medals," he said. "We were well prepared for rainy conditions. The weather didn't worry me a bit."
Meanwhile, Japan defeated Russia 209-207 to take the bronze.