Korea takes revenge on USA in London 2012 replay

12 September 2015
Medellin (COL)
With the Korean A Team practising in Rio, the nation’s alternate recurve men picked up a first team gold medal on the year.

At London 2012, Korea and the USA met in the semifinals of the recurve men’s team competition. The USA won, by five points, and went on to collect Olympic silver, while Korea settled for bronze. (At that time, recurve team matches were decided on cumulative score.)

The two teams met again in the final of the fourth stage of the Medellin.

As the official Korean team, who competed on the rest of the Archery World Cup circuit, went to practice for the Olympic test event in Rio, the reserves travelled to stage four in Medellin.

The line-up in the three-man team: two-time Olympic Champion in team events Im Dong Hyun, Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Champion Lee Woo Seok and Shin Jae Hun, a cadet world medallist at his first senior international. It was a team that would display no obvious drop in performance from the A squad.

In the USA team was made up of Brady Ellison, Daniel McLaughlin and Collin Klimitchek.

Both Dong Hyun and Brady were on the respective teams that met in the Games in London – and with the former not making the Korean team since 2013, there had been little competition between the pair since.

In his first of three gold medal matches on the day – he also shoots for mixed team and individual gold in Medellin – 29-year-old Im Dong Hyun led his younger teammates to a quick, clean victory in which the Koreans missed the gold just twice.

The Asian team started with 56 then closed the match with a pair of 58-point sets to win 6-0.

When asked whether he remembers the match in London, Im smiled proudly: “You have got to move on and forget the past. I just train to win.”

Brady agreed, alluding to the additional importance a Games brings.

“It is a lot different. If it was an Olympic Games – and I’m not saying the outcome would be different – but the mindsets on both teams would be completely different,” he explained.

Brady and Collin shot with Daniel McLaughlin’s identical twin brother, Sean, in Wroclaw. Brady said that practice time together, ahead of big matches, was essential: “So you can communicate better – when you only have a few days to do this it does not necessarily hurt us but it is different.”

It’s something the USA team has taken into consideration. Brady said that he thought the USA squad had a plug-n-play team system, in which any of the top 16 athletes in the States who substituted in could thrive.

In Medellin, the States did not shoot badly – Korea just did better, to claim the nation’s first recurve men’s team gold of 2015.

It was the first team gold for the nation’s recurve men in 2015 – after silver in both the first two stages of the Archery World Cup circuit – and won by the alternate squad, not the primary.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s team A or team B winning,” Im added, deadpan. “We just focus on winning.”

The Korean recurve women’s team was beaten by Chinese Taipei in their gold medal final, while the USA collected bronze with its recurve women’s team.

Mexico lost its momentum, 4-0 up, when London 2012 silver medallist Aida Roman shot a two in the third set. The USA tied the match and then won the shoot-off with a 10-9-9 to Mexico’s 25.