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24 Aug 2014
Nanjing 2014 , YOG , IOC News

Moreno and Li overcome hurdles to win archery mixed team gold

When the Philippines’ Luis Gabriel Moreno’s taxi got lost on the way to Fangshan Archery Field, his chances of winning gold in the mixed team event on 24 August looked slim.

He reached the venue just in the nick of time but then realised there was a clear language barrier between him and his Chinese partner Li Jiaman.

However the pair quickly established a common language to secure a magnificent victory, defeating Cynthia Freywald (GER) and Muhamad Zarif Syahiir Zolkepeli (MAS) 6-0 in the final.

“I almost missed the medal today," said Moreno. “We had gone out to eat and I took a taxi but the driver didn’t know the way.

“Thankfully I didn’t miss competition. That would have been horrible. I did not get time to warm up and went straight in.

Li(left) and Moreno show off their archery mixed team gold medals

“I feel very lucky to be paired with her [LI]. She always spoke words of encouragement to me. Though we did have problems communicating at times, our passion for the sport and her friendly nature made everything fall into place.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” he admitted. “This medal means everything to me. It was rainy and windy and everything was going against us, but we still did it.”

Li agreed that the wind was "definitely an issue" and revealed that the duo had to be creative to get their message across to each other.

“Sometimes, you can convey more just by your actions," she said. "We may not get each other’s language, but we high-fived and cheered each other after every turn.

“Without him, I would not have been able to do it. He was an important part of the team."

Silver medallist Freywald was delighted to earn a spot on the podium. “Oh my god, I have been waiting for this moment for 10 years," she said. "I will never forget this moment.

“At first, when I came to know of this mixed format, I was not sure if it would work. But I really enjoyed myself while competing with Malaysia. It was a different experience.”

Eric Peters (CAN) and Mirjam Tuokkola (FIN) beat Regina Romero (GUA) and Rick Martens (BEL) 6-2 to take the bronze.

“I’m struggling with my words to describe how I feel wearing this bronze medal around my neck," Tuokkola said. “I have to pinch myself to believe it.

Canadian Peters was equally delighted with both his new partner and the new format. “I think it worked, the mixed team concept. If given a chance, I would love to pair up again with her, she is fun.”

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