Ki Bo Bae collects first individual gold since 2012

8 July 2015
Gwangju (KOR)
The Olympic Champion won gold at the 2015 Universiade in a shoot-off over Korean teammate Choi Misun

Olympic Champion Ki Bo Bae’s Universiade was already a successful one. She broke a world record that had stood since the Athens 2004 Olympic Games at the start of the week when she shot 686 points for the ranking round, four more than the previous world-best mark. 

The top seed at Gwangju 2015, Bo Bae dropped just two sets before her semifinal clash with world champion Maja Jager from Denmark.

Drawn at the end of regulation, Maja shot a nine – but KI Bo Bae displayed the kind of form that propelled her to victory at London 2012 and nailed a perfect 10.

Her gold medal final would be a repeat of that semifinal situation.

Shooting against Choi Misun, against whom she lost the Antalya 2015 Archery World Cup stage final, the Olympic Champion found herself in another tiebreaker.

Ki Bo Bae looked nervous.

She shot first – and she shot a 10. But just inside the scoring ring, leaving the door open for Misun, if she managed a strong arrow. Choi’s shaft, though, was a clear nine. 

Gold for Ki Bo Bae – and the Korean recurve woman’s first individual title since the Archery World Cup Final crown she won just weeks after taking gold at the Olympic Games. 

Maja Jager’s bronze medal match might have been even more exciting.

The Dane, who will defend her world title on home soil in Copenhagen in 2015, also had a shoot-off to decide her last match of the tournament, against Chinese Taipei’s Hsiung Mei-Chien

(She won the Belek 2013 World Archery Championships in a sudden-death tiebreaker, too.) 

Maja put the first arrow down, shooting an eight. She looked immediately dejected and must have thought the score would not be good enough. 

Hisung drew, began to aim… and struggled. She could not seem to pull the arrow through her clicker. Uncomfortable, she let her arrow fly – and it landed way out on the target, in the black, and scored just four points! 

Not a likely win, but a bronze medal for Jager none the less. 

Korea won eight of an available 10 gold medals in Gwangju. The bigget upset of the tournament was the nation’s recurve women’s team losing to Chinese Taipei, five set points to three. 

Tan Ya-Ting was concise after the win: “I have trained for archery since I was 11 years old.”

“I still feel the tension, I still feel the excitement. I’m proud of my performance because it is not easy to perform well on a stage that’s watched by people from all over the world.” 

The most successful athletes of the tournament were Koreans Lee Seungyun and Kim Jongho

Also a reigning world champion, Seungyun demolished teammate Ku Bonchan in straight sets in the recurve men’s individual final to collect his third gold of the Universiade. 

He also won gold medals in the team and mixed team events. 

“I did so much better than I expected,” said Lee, who put seven of his nine arrows into the 10-ring in the individual final.

“I am so happy to have won three gold medals at home. I had a lot of friends in the stands, and I tried to do well for them.”

Kim Jongho and Song Yun Soo won the compound men’s and women’s individual titles, respectively, and the pair combined to take the top spot on the compound mixed team podium. 

The Korean compound men also won team gold, while the women’s team event went to Russia.