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Korean Archers Take On All Comers

Posted August. 12, 2006 10:21,   


Archery is one sport that Korea truly excels at. It is not lip service when people say that it is more difficult to make it onto the national team than to win an Olympic gold medal.

The competition to select eight archers, four for each gender, for the national squad to compete at the Doha Asian Games to be played in upcoming December, just proved that.

The world’s number-one ranked female archer, Lee Sung-jin, was not included among the final eight. She had already dropped out of the race in the first and second preliminary rounds.

Korean Archery Association (KAA) Vice Chairman Hwang Do-ha remarked, “Although it is the same with men, the difference between the women’s number one-ranked archer and the 12th ranked archer is virtually non-existent. Their rankings change depending on their daily condition.”

Being selected to the national team does not mean that the archers can relax. On the contrary, competition just begins to heat up from this moment. The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) stipulates that only two archers from the same country can enter the same individual event. In other words, out of the four archers composing the national team, only two will participate in the individual archery event, while the remaining two will only enter the team event. Therefore, the archers will have to undergo endless trials until December. Evaluation tests will be held twice every month, and these scores will be reflected in the final selection. KAA chooses the final two to enter the individual competition based on tournaments (30 percent), monthly evaluation tests (30 percent), preliminaries scores for Asian Games (30 percent), and 10 percent from the coach’s evaluation.

Meanwhile, the eight archers that succeeded in joining the national team will train in Beijing, China, from August 24 until September 2. The training abroad is aimed at not only the Asian Games but also the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. KAA officials, who visited the actual archery range, rented a range with similar wind and terrain conditions and created a training camp. In addition, whenever they have time, they plan to conduct training to adapt to local conditions. Korea archery’s race for gold, which seems quite easy, starts from such behind-the-scene efforts.