Korea opens the Olympic Games with two world and Olympic records
The London Olympic Games started with the men’s archery ranking round this morning. We were honoured to receive the visit of H.R.H. Princess Anne at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
The ranking round defines how athletes are seeded for the individual and team elimination rounds. Archers shot a 70m Round (72 arrows) under the cloudy skies of London and in attendance of several hundreds of journalists.
The Korean archers displayed the best shooting of the day with their three archers staying in the top three after the first and the second half.
All eyes were on KIM Bubmin whose score of the first half (353) put him within reach of the world record (696). However it was IM Dong-Hyun, third at the halfway mark, who stole the show in the end. With a total of 699 points, the archer famous for his low eyesight broke the world record that he had established himself at the Antalya World Cup in May. In shooting 699, IM also broke the old Olympic record set by Michele FRANGILLI (ITA) in Atlanta 1996.
KIM Bubmin finished a close 2nd of the ranking round with 698, while the 3rd Korean archer scored 690 to finish behind his teammates but above everyone else.
The highest-scoring archer behind the untouchable Korean trio was Laurence GODFREY of the host British team. The three-time Olympian managed to keep his 4th place from the first half until the end of the ranking round.
“I don’t really feel any advantages or disadvantages about competing in my home country. To me this is just like another competition”, said the 36-year-old. “I’m shooting at 70 metre against the same athletes as usual. I broke my personal best with 680 points – 3 points better than my previous record set at 677 at the Antalya World Cup in May. I had finished 12th there and here I am 4th. In the coming days I will just be shooting arrows, and today I’ll get some rest.”
Japan’s Takaharu FURUKAWA was in 5th place with 679 points. The promising 18-year-old French archer Gael PREVOST scored a new personal best equalling the national record (also 679) to place 6th.
“For my first participation in the Olympic Games it is a very, very good score. My goal was to shoot well and to enjoy myself, and I did just that.”
The best archer competing as an individual was Crispin DUENAS of Canada. The veteran of Beijing 2008 shot consistently to stay in the top 10 throughout the morning. He finished in 8th place with 678 points.
“I know I can shoot better but I have to settle with what I did today. I got very lucky and my goal was to place in the top 10, so I’m happy. My goal is THE gold medal”, laughed the archer.
The No. 1 of the World Ranking Brady ELLISON had a disappointing first half with 335 points, finishing in 20th place. However he improved his score by six points in the second half (341) to finish 10th overall with a total of 676 points.
“It went alright. The Koreans shoot well and if you look at the scores, they always dominate the ranking round”, said the 23-year-old American. “But once you get into the stadium and there’s a lot more pressure, they’re still hard to beat but they’re a little easier to beat. It’s the Olympics, and everyone’s going to have to shoot well to win a medal.”
The two Olympic individual champions on the field were far from their best shooting today. The current champion Viktor RUBAN (UKR) shot 660 points to place 43rd, while the champion of 2004 Marco GALIAZZO scored slightly better (662) to rank 36th.
There was no surprise in the team ranking, with the top-seeded team Korea finishing in 1st place with 2087 points after 72 arrows, setting a new world record. France were 66 points behind, nonetheless very happy with their new national team record of 2021.
“We really pushed each other throughout the session and broke the French team record by 9 points”, said Gael PREVOST. “We are going to take a good rest to be in shape for the team finals tomorrow, and try not to think too much about it.”
China finished 3rd with 2019 points, the same score as the United States, 4th. The last team to break the barrier of 2000 points was Japan (2009).
Click here to view the complete results. The men’s competition continues tomorrow with the team finals. The three archers that will be crowned tomorrow will be the first Olympic champions of the London Games.
Next stop: the women’s ranking round this afternoon!
World Archery Communication