4 AM with steaming coffee wafting up to my eyebrows, has found me intently watching the live Olympic archery stream through my laptop. I didn’t see all of it live but did catch up with videos afterwards.
Here is a quick synopsis of the medal matches:
- Gold – So Korea – Ki Bo Bae
- Silver – Mexico – Aida Roman
- Bronze – Mexico – Mariana Avitia
This match was a bit of a nailbiter with South Korea’s Ki Bo Bae and Mexico’s Aida Roman tied in set points after the 5th set, triggering a shoot-off with closest to the center claiming Gold.
Ki Bo Bae
Ki shot first scoring an eight leaving the door wide open for Aida Roman to take it for the Gold but with what must have been just incredible pressure Aida also shot an eight which was further from the center giving South Korea the win. Aida Roman did a great job and she and Mexico can be very proud of winning the Silver medal.
Competing for the Bronze was USA archer Khatuna Lorig and Mexico’s Mariana Avitia. Lorig who is a veteran archer in her 5th Olympics had battled hard for the USA team, being the only USA team member to make it to a medal round in the individual challenges.
Mariana Avitia just 18 years of age looked serious and composed and opened the first set with three 10’s. Lorig started with a 27 but in the ensuing sets had a combination of brilliant shots and some low scoring arrows (two sixes). Lorig opened the fourth set with a perfect bullseye which hit the hidden imbedded target camera and bounced off creating a moment of levity in the match. Avitia was able to pull through in the 4th set with a 9 on her last arrow which was enough for 6 set points and won Mexico the Bronze.
Mexico can be very proud of both Mariana Avitia and Aida Roman for winning the first two Olympic medals in Archery for their country.
- Gold – So Korea – Jin Hyek Oh,
- Silver – Japan – Takaharu Furukawa
- Bronze – China – Xiaoxiang Dai
China edged out the Netherland’s Rick Van Der Ven by coming from behind and forcing a shoot off. China shot first on the shoot off and scored a bullseye 10, Rick Van Der Ven was not able to overcome it giving Xiaoxiang Dai the Bronze.
Oh Jin Hyek
Shooting for the Gold were Oh Jin Hyek from South Korea and Japan’s Takaharu Furukawa. Oh looked relaxed in his shooting and in total control shutting out Furukawa in 4 sets.
Oh shot a total of 12 shots. Seven 10’s and five 9’s, never slipping out of the yellow. South Korea, which is an archery powerhouse, has not had a men’s individual gold. Oh stepped up and made it happen for his country and himself.
- Gold – Italy – Michelle Frangilli, Marco Galliazo, Mauro Nespoli
- Silver – USA – Brady Ellison, Jacob Wukie, Jake Kaminski
- Bronze – So Korea – Dong Hyun Im, Bubmin Kim, Jin Hyek Oh
The Korean team beat Mexico to win the Bronze. Mexico’s team is composed of archers Luis Alvarez, Luis Eduardo Velez and Juan Rene Serrano. Serrano opened the match with a 5. This cost them as they were otherwise consistent in their shooting with 8’s, 9’s and twelve 10’s.
Korea kept a steady pace posting 8, 9’s and eleven 10’s for a total score of 224 to 219. One of the interesting comments made at the match by the commentators was that all the finalists teams, Mexico, Korea, USA, Italy, have Korean coaches.
The Italy – USA match is another cliffhanger as it comes down to one point. The USA starts their first end with a 52. Italy takes the lead shooting 54 on their first end, USA answers with a 54 on their 2nd end for a total of 106 but Italy is ready and shoots their strongest end with 56 points widening the gap with a score of 110 to 106.
Italian Squad – Marco Galliazo, Michelle Frangilli,Mauro Nespoli
The Americans rally hard in the 3rd end with a 57 to Italy’s 55 to make it a 2 point spread Italy of 163 to 165. The final end comes down to 218 USA – 209 Italy with one more shot to go. Michelle Frangilli has the final shot, he needs a ten for Italy to win Gold and he delivers making the final score Italy 219 – USA 218.
Congratulations to team Italy on the Gold medal. In their loss the American team are of course winners walking away with the Silver medal, the first medal for the USA in the 2012 Olympic Games and the first medal for the USA archery team since 2000.
- Gold – So Korea – Hyeonju Choi, Bo Bae Ki, Sung Jin Lee
- Silver- China – Ming Cheng, Yuting Fang, Jing Xu
- Bronze – Japan – Ren Hayakawa, Miki Kanie, Kaori Kawanaka
South Korea is matched against China for some déjà vu action of the 2008 Olympic team final. The archers are all put to the test by having to shoot in the London rain which finally relents partway through the match.
Both teams score low on the first end with Korea 49 and China 47, Korea starts the 2nd end with a low 7 shot in the rain but comes back with energy to finish the 2nd end at 103. China has a strong 2nd end making the score Korea 103 – China 102.
China falls behind 2 points in the 3rd end for Korea 156 – China 154. The Chinese women close the gap in the last end shooting 55 points for a final score of 209. The Koreans are up and shoot a 9, then 8 in which the crowd oooh’s apprehensively. The last shot goes to Ki. The score is 201 to 209, she needs a 9 to win the match for Korea and in true Korean fashion clinches it with the 9 the team needs. Final score 210 – 209.
South Korean Women’s team – Hyeonju Choi, Bo Bae Ki, Sung Jin Lee
Japan beats Russia for their first women’s Olympic medal. Russia started very strong posting three successive tens in the 2nd end. Russia gets ahead 4 points 105 – 101 but Japan makes a comeback to end 209 -207 and goes home with the Bronze.