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South Korea Wins First Olympic Men’s Archery Gold

  • Parke Brewer

Silver medalist Japan's Takaharu Furukawa (L to R), gold medalist South Korea's Oh Jin Hyek and bronze medalist China's Dai Xiaoxiang pose during the victory ceremony for the men's individual archery event at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Lord's C

Silver medalist Japan's Takaharu Furukawa (L to R), gold medalist South Korea's Oh Jin Hyek and bronze medalist China's Dai Xiaoxiang pose during the victory ceremony for the men's individual archery event at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Lord's C

LONDON — The archery competition at the London Olympics came to a close Friday at Lord’s Cricket Ground. Once again South Korea was the top medal winner.

On an exciting final day of Olympic archery competition when both semifinals and the bronze medal match had to be decided in shoot-offs, South Korean Oh Jin-hyek won the gold medal over Japan’s Takaharu Furukawa in four sets, seven points to one.

China’s Dai Xiaoxiang won the bronze medal with a one-arrow shoot-out over Dutchman Rick van der Ven, 10-8.

Oh had won his semifinal with a single arrow shoot-out over Dai, 9-8, and Furukawa had beaten van der Ven in their shoot-out with one arrow, 10-9.

Even the public address announcer at Lord’s Cricket Ground said it was the most exciting archery contest he had ever seen.

While South Korea has now dominated archery for seven straight Olympic Games, Oh became the first male archer from his country to win the individual gold. Here in London, the South Koreans also won the women’s individual and team gold medals.

At his post-match news conference, Oh explained, through an interpreter, why he thinks the Koreans have such success in archery.

“Many Koreans have a very, very strong will and very strong perseverance, and many of them just, when they have an idea in their head, then they just have to do it, and I’m one of them,” he said.

The United States had upset the South Koreans in the men’s team semifinals earlier in the week, and the Koreans had to settle for the bronze.

What was surprising about the men’s individual archery event was the early exit of world No. One-ranked Brady Ellison of the United States. Coming into the Olympics, the 23-year-old had lost only two of his previous 37 matches. But he was ousted Wednesday in the round of 16 by Australian Taylor Worth.

South Korean world record holder Im Dong-hyun also had been upset in the last 16 by van der Ven.

As the fans emptied out of the temporary stands for the final event at Lord’s Cricket Ground, the sign on the large scoreboard read, “See you in Rio” - a reference to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the next Olympic archery tournament will be held in 2016.
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