Korean team captain Chang Hye Jin lifts Olympic crown
World number six Chang Hye Jin became the eighth Korean athlete since 1984 to claim Olympic gold in the women’s individual competition at the Games, after a four-set final against Germany’s Lisa Unruh in the Sambodromo’s Rio 2016 archery arena.
“In London I was the fourth, and here I got the gold,” said Chang. She was the reserve for the Korean team at the Olympics Games in 2012. “It’s the prize for my efforts.”
“I watched my teammates shooting, because of the strong wind, I noticed they made many mistakes. So I watched to see what I could learn.”
The individual gold was Chang Hye Jin’s second medal of the Games. She was the captain of the Korean trio that claimed an eighth Olympic women’s team gold medal in a row earlier in the competition week at Rio 2016.
Chang won the first set of the final against Unruh, before her German opponent drew level in the second. In the third set, Unruh shot a seven, allowing Chang to jump ahead.
The 29-year-old archer then shot a 29-point set to close out the match, 6-2.
Chang was seeded second in the competition and knocked out defending Olympic Champion, and teammate, Ki Bo Bae in the semifinals.
“We didn’t care about shooting against each other, we were just shooting to make the finals. We were just doing our best, no matter the result. I didn’t think I was shooting against my teammate. I thought I was shooting against someone else,” said Chang.
Ki went on to claim bronze, her fourth Olympic medal, by beating Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia, 6-4.
Korea has won eight of the last nine women’s titles at the Olympic Games, since 1984, and a total of 18 medals in that period, including Chang and Ki’s in Rio. No Korean woman has ever won the Olympics twice.
Lisa Unruh claimed Germany its first individual medal in archery at the Olympics.
Valencia, who Unruh passed in the semifinals, put number one seed and world number one Choi Misun out of the competition in the quarterfinals, preventing Korea from claiming its third clean sweep of the women’s podium at the Games. The nation achieved that feat in 1988, on home soil in Seoul, and 12 years later at Sydney 2000.
Competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games continues with men’s finals on 12 August.