Korean archers prevail in MadridAs the Korean national anthem played over and over, Korean archers celebrated their sweeping victory at the 43rd World Archery Outdoor Championship that ended Sunday in Madrid, Spain.
Korean archers swept the recurve men’s and women’s team competitions on the last day as well as the recurve men’s and women’s individual competitions, winning four out of eight available gold medals. This is the first time in eight years that Korea has won all four medals in recurve competitions; the other four events were compound competitions.
In the semifinal, the men’s team beat Ukraine and then defeated India, 244-232. The women’s team also won over Ukraine, 251-237.
In the individual competitions, Barcelona Olympic silver medalist Chung Jae-hun, 31, had a come-from-behind victory in a close race that ended 102-101, against Japan’s Moriya Ryuichi. This is the first gold medal for Chung.
“My father, who died seven years ago, seemed to have helped me from heaven,” he said. “I am glad I could share the victory with my teammates as well.”
Chung was a veteran archer in the 1990s, but he walked out in the middle of the national team’s training before the 2001 World Archery Championship in Beijing to protest the authoritarian system, and was expelled from the team.
In the recurve women’s individual competition, Lee Sung-jin, the winner of the silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, defeated her less-experienced compatriot Lee Tuk-young, 111-109. Lee Sung-jin lost to Park Sung-hyun in the final at Athens, but avenged her loss by beating Park in the semifinal in Madrid. Park later beat Natalia Valeeva of Italy for the bronze medal.
“I was more nervous than when I was at the final in Athens,” Lee said. “It was less windy [in this competition] and I was able to come up with a good score.”
In the compound competitions, Sweden’s Morgan Lundin won the men’s individual and Russia’s Sofya Goncharova won the women’s side. France won the women’s team competition, while the United States claimed the men’s title.
by Chung Jeh-won, Limb Jae-un