Mixed archery duo win Korea's first gold medal of Tokyo Games
Kim Je-deok and An San won Korea's first medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, taking home gold in the inaugural mixed team archery event on Saturday.
As the mixed team event is a new addition to the Tokyo Games, this gold medal comes not only as Korea’s first medal of the Tokyo Games, but also the first-ever mixed team Olympic gold medal.
Twenty-year-old An and 17-year-old Kim did the job. The pair, the youngest archers on the Korean team, topped the individual ranking round on Friday.
An scored 680 out of a possible 720 points to top the women’s individual ranking round, breaking an Olympic record that has stood since 1996. Kim shot 688, ahead of Oh Jin-hyek and Kim Woo-jin of Team Korea to earn his spot at the mixed team event.
With the sound of the buzzer, Team Korea was the first to shoot.
Kim — who's distinctive "fighting" roar before every point is as recognizable as Kim Eun-jung's "Yeong-mi" at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics — opened the scoring with nine points. An followed with 8, and then they both shot nines to total 35 points.
Gabriela Schoelsser and Steve Wijler of the Netherlands were able to shoot 38 and the first set went to the Dutch.
In the second set, Team Korea shot three nines and then An finished the set with a perfect 10. Despite the Netherlands attempting a comeback with ten points in the last shot, Korea took away the second set 37-36.
The third set was what brought Korea close to the gold medal as the archers were shooting their best. Kim first went up to shoot a ten, then An shot an eight.
The Netherlands shot a nine then an eight, trailing behind Korea by a point. Kim came back with a nine, followed by An’s nine.
The Netherlands then made a crucial mistake shooting a six. Despite following it up with a ten, Korea was able to take the third round 36-33.
In the last round, the Dutch were the first to go, shooting a nine then a ten. Korea was there to do even better, throwing up two 10s to take the lead.
The Dutch put up a fight with another two tens. But as Team Korea had already taken away the second and third sets, a draw in the fourth set would win the gold medal.
For the draw, Korea was looking for at least 19 points for a gold medal and that is exactly what they did, with Kim shooting a ten and An following up with a nine for Korea's first medal of the 2020 Games.
Team Korea will continue their bid to sweep for an archery medal sweep tomorrow with the women’s team quarterfinals at 2:08 p.m.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]