TOKYO, July 31 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea came to Tokyo as the unparalleled force in Olympic archery.
And with a performance by turns dominant and scintillating over the past week, South Korea picked up four out of five gold medals at stake.
South Korea’s Olympic archery campaign started with a bang, as An San set an Olympic record with 680 points out of a maximum 720 in the ranking rounds on July 23.
An went to capture three gold medals, winning the mixed team, women’s team and women’s individual titles.
She became the first triple gold medalist in any sport in Tokyo, and also the first South Korean athlete to win three gold medals at a single Summer Olympics.
An’s teammate for the mixed gold, Kim Je-deok, combined with Oh Jin-hyek and Kim Woo-jin for the men’s team gold.
Kim Woo-jin was the last South Korean man left standing in the individual event, but didn’t come close to the podium as he lost in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
But his early exit shouldn’t take away from South Korea’s second consecutive four-gold medal performance, which raised the country’s overall Olympic archery gold medal count to 27 — more than all other countries combined since the start of the modern archery competition in 1972.
The country had a clean sweep of all four archery titles in 2016, when the men’s and women’s team and individual events were contested. The mixed team competition was added for the first time in Tokyo.
South Korea couldn’t quite complete the unprecedented, five-gold medal sweep.
But considering the impressive pipeline of young archery talent — An San is just 20 and Kim Je-deok is all of 17 — who’s to say South Korea won’t win five gold medals in Paris in 2024?