Archery: Unflappable South Koreans protect proud legacy

Sun Aug 7, 2016 7:59pm EDT
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By Ian Ransom

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Carrying a country's expectations and an Olympic legacy of astonishing over-achievement, South Korea's archers were hardly going to let the wind at the Sambadrome blow their chances of an eighth successive women's team title at the Rio Games.

Wind can be kryptonite to the best of archers, with the merest breath sending a cleanly shot arrow wide of the target.

It raises doubts and can sap confidence to terminal levels. At times on Sunday it was blowing hard. Other times, soft.

But it was ever-present, causing many of the world's most accomplished women to wince in dismay as their arrows refused to land as directed.

It knocked Russia's strongly built Ksenia Perova off course during the gold medal-decider, her first arrow fading into the outer ring for a score of six, a virtual embarrassment for an Olympic competitor.

But South Korea's Ki Bo-bae, Chang Hye-jin and Choi Mi-sun seemed to possess a mystical power to move the wind in their direction.

Five of their first six arrows in the opening set struck the innermost gold circle for maximum scores of 10 points.

It was a devastating opening volley which Perova, Tuiana Dashidorzhieva and Inna Stepanova had little hope of responding to.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Archery - Semifinal - Women's Team Semifinal - Sambodromo - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/08/2016. (L-R) South Korea's Chang Hye-Jin (KOR), Ki Bo-Bae (KOR) and Choi Mi-Sun (KOR) celebrate. REUTERS/Yves Herman