Unruh: I didn’t lose gold, I won silver

15 September 2016
Rio de Janeiro (BRA)
An Olympic medallist at Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Germany’s Lisa Unruh is also an indoor and outdoor world champion.

Winning a medal at the Olympics was her dream. A dream that came true on 11 August 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, when Lisa Unruh won silver after a final against Korean women’s team captain Chang Hye Jin.

“I didn’t lose the gold medal, I won the silver medal,” said Lisa. “I really enjoyed the honour of shooting the final against Chang. It was great!”

After passing the semifinals, Lisa said she realised she’s secured Germany’s first ever individual medal at the Games. She had to refocus.

“I had some difficulties to concentrate because I knew that I already had a medal! I was nearly paralysed, but after that, I was in the mood to win gold. I shot some training arrows to get my concentration back,” said Lisa.

In the end, it was a well-deserved silver.

On her way to the final, the 28-year-old athlete from Berlin beat Leidys Brito, Gabriela Bayardo and Cao Hui in the first three rounds. These wins helped her overcome the disappointment from the ranking round, which she admitted not being her best.

“I wasn’t happy with my result after the qualification round. I had problems to read the wind and my first round was really bad. The second one was better but it wasn't like I normally do,” she said.

In the quarterfinals, Lisa met one of the favourites for the individual title in Rio - Chinese Taipei's Tan Ya-Ting. The match went to shoot-off, which Lisa won.

“The match against Tan Ya-Ting was the toughest match during the Games,” admitted Lisa. “But after her shoot-off arrow, I knew that I was going to win, because I knew where I had to aim and that I could do a really strong shot, and so it was.”

Throughout her matches, Lisa - a former swimmer - was primarily focused on enjoying her first Olympics. She then won her semi-final against Alejandra Valencia to move on to the gold medal match, which added her into Germany’s Olympic hall of fame.

Medalling in Rio was part of a two-year preparation process that started only after Lisa Unruh became World Archery Field Champion in Zagreb, Croatia.

In her opinion, 2014 was her best season – something that may change, as in 2016, she became World Archery Indoor Champion and Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist.

“I’m a bit proud about the fact that I'm successful in all three archery disciplines. It’s not easy because each one is different, you have to train differently and I think you need different conditions for each,” she said.

Lisa hopes that her success at the Olympics will make more people in Germany get to know archery, especially kids. And if you’re wondering what’s next for Lisa…

“I don’t have any objectives right now,” she confessed. “The only thing is to go on holidays and don’t think about archery because the last two years were really exhausting.”

Thanks to Katharina Dziacko.