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When It Comes to Archery, It Is Korea

Posted September. 22, 2001 08:26,   


The anthem resonated twice in the skies of Beijing, China.

The Korean archery team managed to sweep 2 gold medals in the men and women singles finals during the 41st World Archery Championship Series to prove herself as the world`s greatest archery nation.

In the women`s finals that was held in Beijing`s archery center, Korea`s Park Sung-Hyun (18, Chunbook Provincial Government) defeated her senior Kim Kyung-Wook (Hyundai Mobis) to win the gold. In the men`s finals, Yeon Jung-Ki (25, Doosan Heavy Industry) suppressed France`s Leonelle Torres by 1 point to attain the gold medal.

Korea has made great achievements in World Championship Tournaments 3 successive victories in women`s single games since 1997, and 5 successive victories in men`s single games since 1993. In the case of the women`s finals, it was a `repetition` of last year`s semi-finals during the Sydney Olympic Games where the `dauntless newcomer` Yoon Mee-Jin defeated the `divine arrow` Kim Soo-Nyung. This finals witnessed yet another instance of ambition surpassing dignity.

The representative team`s youngest Park Sung-Hyun and the two-time champion of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, veteran Kim Kyung-Wook, stood together in the ultimate win-or-lose crisis. It has been 8 years for such `family competition` between Korean players to occur since the 1993 Turkey Antalia Games.

Having made 9 shots in 3 ends (3 shots constitute 1 end) the score was a tie of 83-83. In the first shot of the fourth end, Park Sung-Hyung shot 9 points, and Kim Kyung-Wook shot 10 points. Both shot 9 points in the remaining 2 shots, and the scoreboard recorded 111-110, Kim Kyung-Wook`s victory. However, when the last 3 shots were made, the referee walked up to the targets to confirm the final score and discovered that the first shot made by Park Sung-Hyun on the fourth end was not 9 but 10 points. The score was modified to a tie of 111-111. In the extended shoot-off where each player would make one shot that determines the winner and the loser, both players attained the same score during the next two shots. But it was on the third that Kim Kyung-Wook shot 7 points while Park Sung-Hyun shot 10 points into the golden target to attain the gold medal.

The competition of a second-class representative in men`s archery owing to a `disobedient happening` initially did not have good prospects, but Yeon Jung-Ki`s fighting was indeed outstanding. Yeon Jung-Ki raised a disturbance when he defeated Russia`s Shirempiloff, world ranking number one in the quarterfinals, and entered the finals after defeating the champion of the 1993 tournament Park Kyung-Mo by 115-113 in the semifinals.

His opponent in the finals was the former world champion Torres. Yeon Jung-Ki who took the lead by 3 points until the third end, was not perturbed by Torres` three 10 point shots in the fourth end, and succeeded in shooting 9-10-9 points to claim the victory by 1 point. Meanwhile, Park Kyung-Mo defeated Italy`s Di Buo 110-109 to win the bronze medal. Korea will once again go for the gold medal in the men`s group tournament to be held on the 22nd.

Kim Sang-Soo ssoo@donga.com