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First team gold for Italian archers

Italy claimed the gold medal in the men’s team archery event at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Saturday. Michele FRANGILLI, Mauro NESPOLI and Marco GALIAZZO beat USA’s Brady ELLISON, Jacob WUKIE and Jake KAMINSKI by one point after a thrilling final match. The favourites Korea saw off Mexico to take the bronze after losing to the USA in semifinals. 
Italy claimed the gold medal in the men’s team archery event at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Saturday. Michele FRANGILLI, Mauro NESPOLI and Marco GALIAZZO beat USA’s Brady ELLISON, Jacob WUKIE and Jake KAMINSKI by one point after a thrilling final match. The favourites Korea saw off Mexico to take the bronze after losing to the USA in semifinals.   Entering competition as the No. 6 team, Italy had the target of going one rank better than at Beijing 2008 and win gold. They first defeated Chinese Taipei and faced China in the second round. In the semifinal, FRANGILLI, NESPOLI and GALIAZZO had a tight match against Mexico, winning by only two points.   Finally, Italy faced the USA for the Olympic gold. ELLISON, WUKIE and KAMINSKI had recovered from a compromised situation in their quarterfinal match against Japan. In their semifinal against the No. 1, the Korean team made of IM Dong Hyun, KIM Bubmin and OH Jin Hyek, who broke the team world record in the ranking round, the Americans also trailed after three ends, but they upset the favourites with a near-perfect final end of 59 points.   In a thrilling gold medal match, Italy needed a perfect last arrow to win against the USA. FRANGILLI, the team bronze medallist in 1996 and silver medallist in 2000, held his nerves and hit a 10 for the gold medal. The dramatic 219-218 win for FRANGILLI, NESPOLI and GALIAZZO against ELLISON, WUKIE and KAMINSKI capped a day of surprises in the competition.   Behind the new Olympic champion Italy, USA finished with the silver, while the Koreans saw off Mexico, who included Luis ALVAREZ, the winner of the last World Cup in Ogden, to take bronze.   Gold Medal Match   United States (USA/4) v Italy (ITA/6)   Italy made the best start with two 10s in the first six arrows. They took a 2-point lead (54-52), their opponents from the USA turning around the 10-ring without reaching it.   Mauro NESPOLI, Marco GALIAZZO and Michele FRANGILLI doubled their advantage with two 10s and four 9s in the second end (110-106). In this end, the No. 1 archer in the world ELLISON scored the first 10 of the match for Team USA.   Jake KAMINKSI, Jacob WUKIE and ELLISON improved their shooting in the third end and scored 57. This allowed them to recover two points as their opponents shot 55 points. The Americans were only two points behind with one end to go (165-163)!   What a thrilling ending! The two teams were tied before their final arrow, 209-209! Shooting first, ELLISON released a 9 just out of the 10-ring. Therefore, FRANGILLI needed a 10 to win or at least a 9 to draw… Tension was at its height as the Italian let his arrow go… a 10 just inside for the gold medal and "Viva Italia!"   Bronze Medal Match   Korea (KOR/1) v Mexico (MEX/7)   Mexico tried to make history by winning their first ever Olympic medal in archery, but they faced a difficult challenge against the world No. 1 team, Korea.   Juan Rene SERRANO started with a bad 5 for his team’s very first arrow… While he scored an 8 at his second arrow of the opening end, his teammates Luis Eduardo VELEZ and Luis ALVAREZ kept their team in the race with three 10s and a 9. Mexico trailed by five points after six arrows (57-52).   However, they could not improve enough in the second end (53 points), and lost two more points. KIM Bubmin, IM Dong Hyun and OH Jin Hyek led 112-105 at the half-way mark.   With 57, the Mexicans shot a higher score than their opponents (56) in the third end and recovered one point. They trailed by six points with six arrows to go in this bronze medal match (168-162).   Mexico repeated with a 57-point end to conclude the match. But SERRANO’s opening 5 carried heavy weight throughout the match and in the final counting… The Koreans ended up with another end of 56 points, winning the Olympic bronze by five points, 224-219.   Semifinals   Korea (KOR/1) v United States (USA/4)   Very difficult start for both teams (9-8-9 for Korea; 8-8-9 for USA). Both found the gold ring (10-9) with the following three arrows, but the lead belonged to Korea for two points (55-53).   While the world No. 1 archer Brady ELLISON and his teammates Jake KAMINSKI and Jacob WUKIE improved their shooting in the second end with 56, their opponents from Korea scored the same number of points as in the first (55). Team USA came back close to one point at 110-109.   There was a draw after three arrows in the third end (136-136). With 10-10-9 to follow, the Americans took the lead for the first time of the match, by one point, 165-164 (9-10-9 for the Koreans).   KAMINKSI, WUKIE and ELLISON left no chance to KIM Bubmin, IM Dong Hyun and OH Jin Hyek in the last end of this first semifinal: they scored 59 out of 60 and upset the No. 1 team in the world, 224-219.   Italy (ITA/6) v Mexico (MEX/7)   Team Italy, Mauro NESPOLI, Marco GALIAZZO and Michele FRANGILLI, could not find the 10-ring in the first end. They scored 51 points. Juan Rene SERRANO and Luis ALVAREZ reached the 10 two times each, and the Mexicans took a four-point lead 55-51.   The Italians took back three points, thanks to a 51-point second end by their opponents. They were only one point behind at the half-way mark (106-105).   The junior world record holder Luis Eduardo VELEZ and his teammates hit the gold ring (10-9) with all six arrows in the third end. Their contenders from Italy had one arrow out of the gold and lost one point, trailing by two (162-160).   Tied score with three arrows to go (188-188)! The Italians put pressure on their opponents, finishing with 10-9-10. The young VELEZ could not hold his nerves and released an 8 for his last arrow… Decision was made even before the last two arrows by Mexico (10-9), and Italy advanced to the gold medal match (217-215).   Quarterfinals   Korea (KOR/1) v Ukraine (UKR/9)   Team Korea is the No. 1 seed of the competition. KIM Bubmin, IM Dong Hyun and OH Jin Hyek set a new world record at 70m on Friday during the Ranking Round. They opened the match with all six arrows in the gold (10-9 ring) and took the lead 56-53.   The reigning individual Olympic champion Viktor RUBAN seemed to face difficulties with 8, 8 and 7 for his first three arrows of the match, but he then found the gold with a 9 on his fourth arrow. RUBAN and teammates Dmytro HRACHOV and Markiyan IVASHKO trailed by seven points (113-106) at the half-way mark.   The Ukrainians found the right pace in the third end and scored 57 points. But their opponents had a very nicely grouped series of six arrows and added 59 to their total. The Koreans increased their lead to nine points at 172-163.   The outcome of the match was not hard to predict. The Olympic record of 227 set by Korea in Beijing 2008 was within reach. After three 10s and one 9 in the final end, Korea’s IM hit the 8-ring, and OH needed to shoot in the gold for a new record… He was just out with an 8, and Korea tied the record with 227.   Japan (JPN/5) v United States (USA/4)   Led by the No. 1 archer in the world Brady ELLISON, Team USA started the match with five 9s and a 10 for 55 points. Their Japanese opponents also scored 55 points for a tie after one end.   Jake KAMINSKI scored a 7 to open the second end, which cost the Americans the lead at the half-way mark: 110-108 for the Japanese. Only two 10s so far for the USA against five to Japan!   KAMINSKI, Jakob WUKIE and ELLISON improved in the third end with 57 points (three 10s and three 9s). They managed to recover one point after their contenders scored 56. Takaharu FURUKAWA, Yu ISHIZU and Hideki KIKUCHI were still in the lead, but by only one point: 166-165.   The Japanese collapsed at the beginning of the final end with 9-8-8… With 9-10-9, Team USA reversed the situation by two points (193-191 in their favour). There was still hope for the Japanese after KAMINSKI and WUKIE scored 9 and 8, respectively. ELLISON held his nerves and concluded with a 10. FURUKAWA then scored an 8; the match was over, as Japan mathematically could not catch up anymore despite two 10s. Final score: 220-219 for the USA.   China (CHN/3) v Italy (ITA/6)   Italy, silver medallists from Beijing 2008, took a one-point lead (56-55) in the first end despite an 8 by Mauro NESPOLI. The Chinese tied at 109-109, taking advantage of two 7s by their opponents Marco GALIAZZO, the 2004 individual Olympic champion, and Michele FRANGILLI.   XING Yu, LIU Zhaowu and DAI Xiaoxiang found the gold ring (10-9) with their six arrows in the third end (57 points). They took the lead for the first time in this match at 166-164.   The Asian competitors were betrayed by their nerves, starting the final end with 8 and 7 (followed by a 9). This allowed the Italians to come back. They scored 9-10-10 and took a three-point lead (193-190) with three arrows to go for each team. This was enough for them, as they clinched the match with 10-8-9 versus 9-9-8 for their opponents. Final score: 220-216 for Italy!   Mexico (MEX/7) v France (FRA/2)   The Mexicans Juan Rene SERRANO, Luis Eduardo VELEZ and Luis ALVAREZ made a flying start with all six arrows in the gold ring (10-9). With 57 points, they led by six points (57-51), taking benefit of a 6 by Romain GIROUILLE on his first arrow (his team’s third arrow). In this end Thomas FAUCHERON’s second arrow hit the bull’s eye, damaging the camera placed in the very centre of the target!   Mexico brought their lead to seven points at the half-way mark (111-104) and then eight points (166-158) with one end to go.   The Mexicans changed their order of shooting in the course of the match, the junior world record holder VELEZ being first on the line before teammates SERRANO and ALVAREZ.   As the two teams scored the same 54-point end to close the match, Mexico upset the team seeded No. 2 with 220-212.   World Archery Communication