Thx to @RoaringMedia and KBS.
Thx to @RoaringMedia and KBS.
After a tournament which briefly looked like it was veering dangerously away from the script followed by previous Asiads, the recurve finals finally delivered the hoped-for ‘Golden Sunday’ for the home nation.
After the shock semi-final defeat for the Korean men’s team on Friday – the first at an Asian Games for over twenty years – they had to suffer the relative indignity of fighting it out with Japan for the bronze medal, which they won 5 sets to 3. Japan came back in the third end to tie the score, but sent down two eights in the final end to hand the Korean men the bronze and a sliver of self-esteem.
The gold medal match was contested between China and Malaysia, who had unexpectedly beaten Japan to book their place here. It was a one-sided affair that saw the Chinese men comprehensively outscore their opponents to take gold.
“We hadn’t expected that we could win so fast,” said Yong Zhiwei. “But we believed in ourselves. We had faith in the team. Mu Yong, the manager of the Chinese archery team, said: “They showed no fear at all.”
In the women’s team event, Japan beat India for the bronze medal, capping a miserable week for India’s recurves who left the competition empty-handed after their compound teammates grabbed four medals yesterday and sent India into the overall top ten.
In the gold match, the pressure was weighing heavy on the Korean ladies to beat China – particularly after their last two finals ended in defeat, and the Chinese team had beaten them in competition as recently as June. In the end, they needn’t have worried. After three tense sets that saw the Chinese archers’ form fall away – they hit the ten ring just twice – the crowd roared and Korea had their precious recurve gold, with an emotional team bursting into tears afterwards. Lee Tuk-Young said afterwards: “There’s been some incredibly hard work over the last ten months, but I’m really glad to be part of history.” She also credited ‘elder sister’ Joo Hyun-Jung, who was unable to take part in the team event due to injury, as part of the team’s success “because our hearts beat as one”, in an elegant illustration of the particularly deep emotional bond between KAA teams.
The individual competition brought another Chinese medal, as Xu Jing took the bronze medal match from Japan’s Ren Hayakawa 7-3 after being 3-1 down after two ends. In the men’s bronze match, Kuo Cheng Wei of Chinese Taipei beat Hideki Kikuchi 6-2 to finish a relatively disappointing meet for Japan’s highly consistent recurvers, who would definitely have hoped for more. (Japan was also the only major archery nation not to send a compound squad).
The women’s individual field inevitably came down to the two Koreans in-form this year, and Jung Dasomi thumped Chang Hye-Jin 7-1 in a gold medal match that saw her miss the middle just twice in twelve arrows. She finished the job with a 10-10-10 end.
The men’s gold match saw the familiar hulking frame of Oh Jin-Hyek, the Olympic champion, take on the young Chinese athlete – and apparently, ‘ladies man‘ – Yong Zhiwei, who had already won a gold medal that morning in the team event. The crowd went silent as Yong raced out to a 4-0 lead, before his form slipped and Oh reeled off three straight sets to take the title, looking relieved after a final end that saw both archers wobble. Reading from the standard Korean sporting script, he said afterwards: “I concentrated on my last shot, but I scored eight. I was fortunate to win a gold medal and I will continue to do well.”
In the end, there weren’t a great deal of surprises. Most of the medals went to the usual powerhouse nations, with some strong runs from Malaysia and the Philippines – plus a special mention to the quarter-final performance of men’s recurver Pak Yong-Won of the DPRK. The athletes had delivered. For the home nation, the KAA pressure cooker had done its job and delivered the expected medals in their most important tournament apart from the Olympics. It remains to be seen if the KAA will continue to develop and maintain a high-level compound squad, and if the men’s performances will match the women’s in either discipline. The big Asian nations have proved spectacularly strong on the international archery circuit this year, and on this outing, that looks set to continue for a long time to come.
Some footage here of the women’s team win – more to come if I can track any down.
Thanks to the dozens of news sources in many languages that helped me pull together these reports.
INCHEON, Korea: The Indian squad had an extraordinary day in windy conditions on the Gyegang field, as the men’s compound team capped a highly successful day for India by clinching a historic gold medal, beating favourites Korea 227-225. Rajat Chauhan, Sandeep Kumar and Abhishek Verma shot consistently in the middle from the second arrow on, in a closely-fought contest that saw the hosts’ second shooter Min Li-Hong send down a 7 in the 4th end to sink the Korean boat. Afterwards, Chauhan said: “We have been noticing India’s position on the medals table every day and were determined to win the gold today. We are delighted to have done it.”
The team’s extensive preparation for the Asiad appears to have paid off, according to coach Rajan Singh: “We went to Salt Lake City in the USA and trained with Dee Wilde (father of Reo) for 15 days. Then we came and trained in Korea in different weather conditions at Gwangju here for a month before reaching here for the Games.” said Singh, a former junior national champion. Abhishek Verma said: “I knew how to perform under pressure… We are all delighted to win the gold. We were not overawed by our opponents.” Iran beat the Phillippines for the bronze medal.
Watch some footage of the team gold medal victory here (featuring some very rueful Korean faces).
In the women’s team contest, strong favourites Korea finally took a gold medal, beating Chinese Taipei 229-226. The women’s team had already broken the world record for a team 24-arrow match earlier in the week, and didn’t miss the gold once. India easily beat Iran for the bronze. Afterwards, Choi Bomin pointed to the sky to dedicate the victory to former KAA youth coach Shin Hyeon-Jong who had recently passed away.
In the women’s individual compound, India’s Trisha Deb couldn’t keep her strong run going against Seok Ji-Hyun but lucked out to beat Huang I Jou in the bronze medal match. Deb was trailing from the first end but the Chinese Taipei athlete unexpectedly missed with her penultimate arrow in the last end to hand the Indian athlete victory. The gold medal match was contested between Koreans Seok Ji-Hyun and Choi Bomin, a dramatic contest which saw the lead swinging back and forth with Choi shooting the last end clean to win by just a single point, 144-143.
The men’s contest saw some less familiar names in an international archery final without the usual European and American stars. Iran has long been strong in compound archery and Esmaeil Ebadi took the lead from the second end to beat India’s Abhishek Verma 145-141 in both athletes’ second appearances of the day. The match was a re-run of the first Asian Grand Prix final from this year, also won by Ebadi. The bronze medal went to Paul Marton De La Cruz of the Phillippines.
Two gold medals for Korea means that the women’s recurve team and Oh Jin-Hyek will both have to take gold tomorrow in order for the host nation to meet its stated target of “four to six” golds from the eight available. But today belonged to a superb Indian squad with a well deserved gold, silver and two bronze medals in the first compound programme at these Games.
The competition continues with the recurve finals tomorrow.
INCHEON, Korea. Recurve eliminations day on a rain-soaked Gyegang Asiad Archery Field, and the host nation was shocked by the defeat of the mighty Korean men’s team, beaten by the Chinese by 5 set points to 4 in the semi-final. In windier conditions than previous days, the match went to a shoot-off, where the teams tied on 29 points but the Chinese won by being closest to the centre.
The Korean men have won every Asian Games team gold for the last eight editions of the Games going all the way back to 1982; now they must fight it out for bronze with Japan on Sunday, who unexpectedly lost their semi-final 5-1 to a resurgent Malaysia. Afterwards, Oh Jin-Hyek described the tournament as “harder than the Olympics”.
The KAA was quick to defend the team. The Korean women’s national team coach, Ryu Su-Jeong said: “Korean archery is still winning, but is becoming more difficult.” Joo Hyun-Jung added, “Gold isn’t something to be taken for granted.” It appears that making the national team might be becoming something of a poisoned chalice; with the staggering achievements of the past and the sky-high expectations making any falls from grace that much harder.
In the women’s team event, Korea cruised through to the gold medal match, despite Joo Hyun-Jung having to pull out of the squad with a rotator cuff injury and being replaced by Lee Tuk-Young. They beat Kazakhstan before crushing India in the semifinal, and will face China in the final on Saturday. Despite the usual dominant display, the pressure is firmly on, as the Korean ladies have lost two finals in a row – to Japan in the Asian Grand Prix and to the same Chinese team at the World Cup in Antalya in June this year. A disappointed India will face Japan for the bronze.
There was slightly better news for the Koreans in the individual finals, although Lee Seungyun unexpectedly fell to Yong Zhiwei of China in the quarter-finals by a single point. Most matches went to form, setting up some intriguing clashes for Sunday. In the recurve men, Kuo Cheng Wei of Chinese Taipei will face Oh Jin-Hyek of Korea, with Yong Zhiwei of China facing Hideki Kukuchi of Japan in the other semi. In the recurve women, Jung Dasomi of Korea will face Ren Hayakawa of Japan, while Xu Jing of China will face Chang Hye-Jin.
Deepika Kumari was thrashed in her quarterfinal by Diananda Choirunisa of Indonesia, to face the wrath of the Indian media after a low-key performance for the Indian recurve team.
The competition continues with the compound finals tomorrow.
INCHEON, Korea: The compound team and individual eliminations were completed today, in the debut outing of the discipline at the 17th Asian Games. The women’s team of Seok Ji-Hyun, Choi Bomin and Kim Yun-Jee scored 238 points out of a possible 240 in the team’s quarter-final victory over Laos to break the world record of 236 points set by the USA team in 2011.
They then eased past Iran 229-222 in the semifinals and will shoot against Chinese Taipei for the gold medal this Saturday, with Iran and India contesting the bronze.
In the men’s team competition, India will face off against Korea in the gold medal match. Korea only just squeezed past the Phillippines in the semi-final, who will face Iran for the bronze. Afterwards, Choi Yong Hee said: “I’m glad to be in the final, but we haven’t won it yet. You have to do your best without losing concentration till the end if you want to win the gold.”
The strong performances from the Indian squad continued as Abhishek Verma upset favourite Choi Yong Hee of Korea 147-142 in the individual quarter-final, shooting 12 10s in the process. Trisha Deb will also contest the individual semi-finals on Saturday.
Elsewhere, there was disappointment for the Iraqi squad as big medal hope and World Cup silver medallist Fatimah Almashhadani went out to Sri Ranti of Indonesia in the 1/16 eliminations. Her sister Rand is shooting in the recurve eliminations tomorrow.
I wrote earlier this year pondering if the Korean team intended to dominate compound archery as they do recurve archery, and it seems to be coming to pass. Korea took all recurve golds available in the last two Asian Games, and have stated they hope to win between four to six golds here from the eight available in recurve and compound. Senior coach Jang Yung-Sool said, in typical Korean style, “All our archers are in good form, but I have advised the athletes to avoid excessive excitement because there are more events to prepare for.”
Full results can be found here. The shoot continues with the recurve team and individual eliminations tomorrow.
Brief YouTube news piece about the world record here.
Early-doors picture of the Gyeyang Asiad Archery Field via Fivics Korea:
INCHEON, Korea: The Asian Games recurve ranking rounds were completed today. Both men and women shot a two-day full FITA round to decide the ranking – a decision of the KAA which contrasts with the now normal 70m ranking round in World Archery sanctioned international competition.
The full results are here. No particular surprises as to who came top – the Korean men’s team qualified one-two-three-four with Lee Suengyun taking top honours with 1377. Oh Jin-Hyuk and Ku Bonchan were tied for second place with 1362 points, but the Olympic champion advanced on total tens scored (although he shot less X’s). This means that Oh and Lee will contest the individual competition, as the rules only allow for two per country per gender; all three will contest the team competition. Kim Woojin shot 1353, good enough for fourth place but not good enough to make either the team or the individual knockout stage.
In the women’s competition, a Korean one-two-three means Jung Dasomi and Chang Hye-Jin will advance to the individual competition with scores of 1364 and 1359. It appears they will be joined in the team event by “elder sister” Joo Hyun-Yung, who only qualified 13th but squeezes Lee Tuk-Young out of the team event on previous results under the complicated KAA rules. Jung Dasomi was sanguine about the system in place, which sees at least one team member squeezed out for good. “The individual result doesn’t matter. Whoever goes out there to fight (as the team), we will give it everything.”
The main challengers to the Koreans for medals here are China, Chinese Taipei, Japan and India, who all recorded top ten placings. Indian superstar Deepika Kumari placed a strong 8th, but the rest of the Indian women’s recurve team floundered and the team only managed fifth place. Top Malaysian pro and World Cup medallist Khairul Anuar Mohamad managed a strong sixth place in the men’s competition.
The compound individual and team eliminations start tomorrow, just after midnight here in Europe. There have already been controversies over the venue, but now there are further fears about the weather disrupting the competition, with Typhoon Fung-Wong battering parts of the east Asian coast and currently approaching south Korea. According to the organisers, the competition will go ahead unless “the target cannot be seen or the target is knocked over by wind and rain.” [waahh! - Ed] Although Chang Hye-Jin was noticably bullish about the situation after the ranking round: “I hope the wind blows harder tomorrow.” she said.
via AFP / Zee News.
Incheon: South Korea`s wealthy archery association has taken matters into its own hands by hastily upgrading an Asian Games venue and providing its own meals following a number of complaints.
The association said it was spending tens of thousands of dollars putting up a giant TV screen and covering the archery venue`s media area, which was open to the elements.
The body is also providing meals to officials and volunteers, claiming lunchboxes given by organisers — who have already suffered a salmonella scare — were out of date.
“The new awning has been put up over the media zone and construction is still underway to put up a giant screen on the left side of the arena,” a spokeswoman told AFP Tuesday.
“We are spending several tens of millions of won for the project. There were complaints from reporters that it was impossible to see computer monitors and even see the giant screen on the right side, due to sunlight.”
“We decided to fund the project ourselves since we understood organisers had no additional budget allocated for such new project,” she said.
“We thought the project was necessary given South Korea`s status as an archery powerhouse… we just wanted to provide better experience for archery lovers and did not want to cause any trouble with organisers.”
Games organisers have explained the lunchboxes were not out of date but mislabelled, and that they are now giving cash instead of meals to workers on the site.
They added that they spent about $180,000 building the venue at the request of the archery association, which did not ask them to make any additions.
Organisers had to dump dozens of lunchboxes prepared for athletes after they detected food poison salmonella.
Archery is likely to be a big Asian Games medal-winner for South Korea, who won three out of four Olympic golds at London 2012.
This is crazy. I literally can’t imagine this happening anywhere else. I have no idea who specced out the field or how it ended up like that, but it certainly appears to be an enormous loss-of-face by the organisers – and an indication of how much power is wielded by the KAA with Kia & Hyundai’s backing behind it.
Most of the archery ranking round was completed today, with some familiar names at the top of the pile. Check out all the running results here.