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S. Korea Marks Olympic Hat-trick in Men's Team Archery
    2008-08-11 21:06:50     Xinhua
South Korea implemented a hat-trick of Olympic title after scoring a new 24-arrow Olympic record of 227 to win the men's team archery at the Beijing Olympic Games on Monday.

South Korean archers Im Dong-Hyun, Lee Chang-Hwan and Park Kyung-Mo beat Italy's 225 in the final.

The mark of 227 also upgraded the Olympic record by three points, which was also made by the Koreans in the quarterfinals.
The Italian archers, consisting of Ilario Dibuo, Marco Galiazzo and Mauro Nespoli, really imposed pressure on their mighty opponents. The two teams tussled to the very last three arrows with 199 points even before the last bout. Mauro Nespoli's costly seven in the last arrow just put Italy's gear to break.

"I only regretted that I shot short in the critical time. We'll leave the keep-up for the next four years," said Mauro Nespoli, who shot both a seven in both the first and last.

"As far as the first concerned, this is the gold medal challenge against the team, we knew, very strong indeed. The last one, that's because I am aware that there was a possibility of winning the gold, so I got nervous. It's nervousness that put me in stroke both times.

South Koreans pulled out a 9-10-9 last bunch to produce their Olympic gold hat-trick after victories in the last two Games.

"We did a good job today. A lot of Koreans came to cheer for us, they really help," said Im, a double Olympian.

"I think any archer here can shoot ten-ten-ten, so you need to keep consistency and accuracy. We somewhat slowed down towards the end. They (Italian) really pushed us to the end. Happily, we laughed to the end."

Also a two-time Olympic archer, Park Kyung-Mo shot a nine in the last arrow which requires only a eight to win, as he did at the Athens Games with a ten.

"Of course, we're under pressure. It's very tense, but it's part of the games. In South Korea in our practice, we set our practising venues as close as the actual venues," said Park.

"We took the actual setting as the game. We practised a lot in simulating the real competitions, so we all can shoot eight, nine and ten. You don't need to practise for the very last shooting," said Park in explaining how he felt as the game terminator.

"We do know we can shoot nine and ten anytime, my teammates can do it also."

Italian archers seemed to be OK with a silver. "Anyway, winning the silver medal is a great achievement for us. When we came here, we knew that we could do well. I'm happy we live up to expectation," said Nespoli.

"I think we did well and we feel a little bit disappointed with my performance. Nevertheless, we're happy we won the silver."

South Korea finished the ranking round in first place with Im Dong- Hyun, Lee Chang-Hwan and Park Kyung-Mo shooting a combined score of 2,015.

South Korea has won three of the five gold medals that have been contested since the team competition was introduced at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games.

All three of Korea's archers were top 10 finishers in the ranking round.

In the bronze medal shooting, China managed to pull out their first medal ever in Olympic history, defeating Ukraine 222-219.

"I'm kind of exciting to compete in my country. A lot of people cheered for us, so we fought hard without thinking much," said Jiang Lin from Chinese team.

"Though the bronze is a regret for us, but we accept it with pleasure.

"I'm maybe not the best, I think, but I'm not afraid of competing against anybody in the individual match-up."


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