Athlete of the Week: Oh Jin Hyek (KOR)

14 August 2012
Lausanne (SUI)
For his first participation in the Olympic Games, Oh Jin Hyek ended Korea’s wait for a men’s individual title with a stunning victory in the gold medal final, and had also helped Korea win the team bronze medal on the first day of the Olympic Games.

Oh Jin Hyek , who will celebrate his 31th birthday on 15 August, took part in his first Olympic Games in London.

He had previously competed in two World Archery championships, in Ulsan 2009 and Turin 2011. He won two gold medals as a member of the Korean team; individually, he placed 4th in Ulsan, and settled for the silver medal after losing the final to teammate Kim Woojin  in Turin.

On the first day of the London Olympic competition, everyone expected Korea to continue the tradition of winning the men’s team gold. However Oh Jin Hyek and his teammates settled for the bronze medal after being upset in semifinal by the United States.  

Despite being the sport’s dominant nation for over twenty years, the men’s individual Olympic gold had so far eluded Korea. In London, everyone expected a final between Im Dong Hyun and Brady Ellison , but they both were eliminated in the early rounds. The third Korean, the runner-up from qualifications Kim Bubmin , also bowed out before the medal matches.    

Seeded third, Oh Jin Hyek defeated the defending Olympic champion Viktor Ruban  7-1 in quarterfinal. The only Korean left on the field in the semifinals, Oh faced Dai Xiaoxiang  in a tight match.

The Chinese archer took the lead two times but Oh came back as many times to tie at 5-5, forcing a shoot-off. Both archers scored a 9, but the Korean’s arrow was closer to the 10-ring. He advanced to the gold medal final against Takaharu Furukawa .

From the very start Oh put pressure on his opponent by shooting twice 9-10-10 to lead 4-0 after two sets. The third set was tied, but Oh won the fourth 28-25 to win Korea’s first men’s individual Olympic title.  

His performance ensured a third archery gold medal out of a possible four for Korea, and helped the country finish first of the archery medal ranking at the London 2012 Olympic Games.  

"When I was younger, I imagined being a gold medallist at the Olympics", said Oh after his gold-medal performance.

"But as the time went by, my results weren’t good enough to make it to the Olympics. It was a long way to come till this moment. I wanted no regrets. I shot every arrow as if it were my last. I was not expecting this at all. I am very, very surprised. I felt like I was flying out there. Because we didn’t get the men’s team gold medal, I tried to make it up today."

OH Jin Hyek – Born 15 August 1981  

  • 1st Individual Olympic Games London 2012
  • 3rd Team Olympic Games London 2012
  • 7th Individual World Cup Final Istanbul 2011
  • 2nd Individual World Championships Turin 2011
  • 1st Team World Championships Turin 2011
  • 2nd Individual World Cup Antalya 2011
  • 1st Team Asian Games Guangzhou 2010
  • 5th Individual Asian Games Guangzhou 2010
  • 2nd Individual World Cup Ogden 2010
  • 4th Individual World Championships Ulsan 2009
  • 1st Team World Championships Ulsan 2009
  • 2nd Individual World Cup Shanghai 2009  

More information on Oh Jin Hyek at his Facebook page.