London bests Rio in battle of Olympic Champions

21 May 2017
Shanghai (CHN)
Ki Bo Bae, who won the Games in 2012, beat Korean teammate Chang Hye Jin, the Rio 2016 gold medallist, in Shanghai.

London 2012 Olympic Champion Ki Bo Bae defeated Rio 2016 Olympic Champion and her Korean teammate Chang Hye Jin in five sets to take recurve women’s gold at the opening stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Shanghai.

“I thought, before entering the arena, that it was going to be an interesting match because Chang and I are both Olympic Champions. Last year in Rio she beat me in the semifinals, so it was my time to take revenge,” said Ki, also the reigning World Archery Champion.

“It’s been a long time since I was last on the finals stage and I was nervous. After Rio, I didn’t train much and didn’t work on my physical condition. It’s not an excuse, but a combination of situations that affect performance.”

The opening three sets of the match were messy.

Both Korean archers opened with 27 points – splitting the set points – but in the second, Chang put her second way out, high left, into the seven. Then, after Chang opened with a six in a similar position to the earlier seven in the third, Ki couldn’t push her second arrow off in time. Chang took that series, 25-17.

“I tried to shoot but I couldn’t. When I was ready, I had already ran out of time, so I got a miss,” explained Ki. “I didn’t get nervous about Hye Jin recovering, but I did realise I needed to shoot quickly and not wait too long for the shots if I wanted to win.”

Somehow, after three sets, the match was tied.

Chang still didn’t look settled down the back straight, while Ki found her groove. The London 2012 Olympic Champion shot 29 and then a perfect 30 to take the match, and her first win of the season, 7-3.

The World Cup Ranking points Ki Bo Bae collects put her in a strong position for qualification to the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final, where still would have the opportunity to defend the circuit title she collected in Odense at the end of 2016.

Japan’s Hayakawa Ren beat Ksenia Perova, of Russia, to bronze.

“I spent two years away from competition because I had an injury,” Ren explained. “I’m very happy to back.”

The first stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup runs 16 to 21 May in Shanghai, China.