The 17-year-old is the latest talent to emerge from the archery superpower of Republic of Korea, and even Brazilian prodigy Marcus Carvalho Lopes Dalmeida could not come close to denting Lee’s dominance of the Youth Olympic tournament.
But the pleasure of victory was not without a cost. When asked how he had managed such a consistently high standard, Lee let go of the gold medal dangling from his neck and opened his hand to display deep calluses.
“These fingers show. There is a lot of pain," he said. "To come to Nanjing, I had domestic competitions and it is world class. It is very stressful.”
Lee beat Carvalho Lopes Dalmeida 7-3 in the final of what was his first competition on a 60m range. The seniors shoot 70m.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s 60m or 70m,” added the Korean. “It’s about the target, and the medal and distance does not matter.”
Carvalho Lopes Dalmeida only dropped four points in five sets against Lee and accepted that he had been beaten by the better man. The silver medallist has emerged from World Archery’s development programme ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
“I didn’t lose that match, the Korean guy was amazing,” reflected the Brazilians. “It is still a dream come true for me to win a medal and now I am looking to Rio [for the Olympic Games in 2016] to win a medal there.”
Both Lee and Carvalho Lopes Dalmeida sliced their way through the opposition in a high-quality contest.
The Brazilian beat Great Britain’s Bradley Denny in the quarter-finals and had to come from behind to overcome India’s Atul Verma in the final four.
“I’m not disappointed by the result, actually I’m pretty pleased,” said Denny. “It’s the best individual result I’ve ever had so to do it at a Youth Olympic Games means I’m quite happy.” Verma recovered from his semi-final defeat to win the bronze medal match 6-4 against Mete Gazoz (TUR).
“This is just the start,” said a delighted Verma. “This was the first Olympic medal in archery won by India and now I want to get a medal at senior level. “I shot well in my semi-final [against Carvalho Lopes Dalmeida] but I had a few problems during the match and I was not lucky enough to win it.”