Women's archery: Ice-cool Koreans arrow home for gold

COBA's picture

Korea were on target for women's team archery gold, beating China by 215 points to 209 after 24 arrows.

China's archers had a larger collection of 10s in their four ends - outdoing the Koreans seven to four on that score - but it was all about consistency in the quest for the crown.

Too many low-point arrows cost the Chinese dear, with Korea's quartet of Lee Tuk Young, Park Sung Hyun, Yun Mi Jin and Yun Ok Hee arrowing outside the nine ring just three times.

By contrast, China heard the Arabic-English scorer announce "sabaa - seven" on five occasions, each one sounding the death-knell for their gold medal hopes as arrow after accurate arrow thunked into the Korean board.

China's archers, Qian Jialing, Yu Hui, Zhang Juanjuan and Zhao Ling, left the field with silver draped round their necks. Bronze had already been decided, Chinese Taipei edging DPR Korea 208 to 206.

Yuan Shu Chi held her nerve on her last shot, scoring 10 where an eight would have menat a tie for a shoot-off - and less than an eight, defeat after her Korean rival shot a nine.

After celebrating with teammates Lai Yi Hsin, Lin Hua Shan and Wu Hui Ju, Yuan said of her ice-cool finish: "In the past, I haven't done well on the last shot. But I keep telling myself that this time I had to make a good shot. I'm so happy that I did it."

Yuan went out in the last 32 in the individual event, and said of her subsequent recovery to clinch team bronze: "My teammate, coach and friends encouraged me a lot. I just tried my best, and worked harder.

"If I hadn't experienced failure, I would never be able to experience success. Failure is just a step toward success.

"This Asian Games has been a good experience for me. It's good preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games."

Korean Park, who took individual gold on Monday 11 December, said: "Firstly, before we came here we had lots of pressure on us, so now that it has finished I am really happy. I feel so much happier winning this team gold with my teammates than I did when I won the individual. I trust that the men's team [competing in the afternoon session] will also do well."

Park and her teammates appeared very relaxed during the contest, and the top archer explained: "That was our strategy - to look not so nervous. So if you have noticed that we looked relaxed then it worked."

On capping her performance with a 10 on her last shot, she continued: "I prayed to God that I shoot that last shot without any regrets. And when I scored 10, I felt that it had already been so decided." Park had shot a six in an earlier end however, one of the few blips in the Korean performance.

She said: "No, it was not a strategy. It was a mistake. But because of that mistake we were able to focus until the end.

"I am so grateful for the interest that had grown for this event [women's team] which had not been so popular previously. I hope the interest, not only for this event but for other not so popular events in Asian Games, will grow and become well known."

15th Asian Games, Doha 2006

Add new comment