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Poikolainen wins archery gold

Poikolainen wins archery gold

02/08/1980

With the powerful Japanese and American teams absent from the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, the archery events were particularly hard hit.

The favourites for the gold medal at the Trade Unions Olympics Sports Centre were the home hope, Boris Isachenko, and the bronze medallist from Montreal, Italian Giancarlo Ferrari.

However as the competition progressed, it was clear the main contenders had not counted on the challenge of the Finn Tomi Poikolainen.

With the men firing at targets from distances of 90, 70, 50 and 30 metres, consistency was key, and from the outset the 18-year-old from Helsinki was showing himself to be the most nerveless of marksmen.

Hungarian Bela Nagy finished the first round with a narrow lead over the field, with Britain’s Mark Blenkarne in second place.

Poikolainen was fifth and just out of the medals, but his endurance and powers of concentration were to see him gradually force his way to the top of the leaderboard.

The windy conditions and a vociferous home crowd cheering on Isachenko did little to throw the Finn off his stride and he eventually secured victory by three points from the Russian.

He finished fifth in Los Angeles four years later, when American Darrell Pace returned after the boycott to add to the gold he had won at Montreal by eclipsing the field again.

Poikolainen did help Finland to a silver at the team event at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.

Discover the best photos of Moscow 1980

  • Opening Ceremony Moscow 1980

    The final torchbearer, basketballer Sergei Belov, in the Moscow Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony

    ©IOC

  • Relay Moscow 1980

    A torchbearer during the Moscow 1980 Games Torch relay

    ©IOC

  • Aleksandr Dityatin (URS)

    Aleksandr Dityatin on the rings at the Moscow 1980 Games

    ©IOC

  • Winner's medal Moscow 1980

    The reverse of this medal is very different from its obverse. However, it is not the work of the same artist. While the obverse was a creation by Giuseppe Cassioli, the reverse was designed by Ilya Postol, a young Soviet sculptor. We can see several elements that stand out through their stylisation: an Olympic cauldron, an athletics track in the background and the official logo of the Moscow Games on the top right ©CIO

  • Winner's medal Moscow 1980

    The obverse comprises a design by Tuscan artist Giuseppe Cassioli. This motif can be found on the obverse of all the winner’s medals presented at the Summer Games since 1928 with the exception of three special cases: Barcelona'92, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. An inscription, in Cyrillic, allows us to make the link with the Moscow Games. This is its transcription in the Latin alphabet and its translation: “Igry XXII Olympiady Moskva 1980” / “Games of the XXII Olympiad, Moscow 1980”©IOC

  • Opening Ceremony Moscow 1980

    View of the delegations standing in front of the Misha mascot created by the public holding up boards

    ©IOC

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