The Republic of Korea’s women archers continued their remarkable domination of the team event by winning an eighth successive Olympic title on a blustery day at the Sambodromo.
Proving themselves a cut above their opponents, the trio of Ki Bobae, Choi Misun and Chang Hyejin were in unflappable form, shooting brilliantly to ease to a 5-1 victory over Russia in the final and send their fans in the terraces into raptures. Chinese Taipei’s Le Chien-ying, Lin Shi-chia and Tan Ya-ting held off Italy to win the bronze.
Defending individual Ki led the way for the Republic of Korea. Shooting four perfect scores, she landed the winning shot to give her nation its eighth gold out of eight in the women’s team event since its introduction to the Olympic programme at Seoul 1988, making it the country’s most successful Olympic event of all.
When it’s time for me to sleep, I always think about archery. That is why I can stay on top.Ki Bobae Republic of Korea
Victory gave Ki her third Olympic gold. An individual and team champion at London 2012, she is now one gold medal shy of equalling the women’s record held by compatriot Kim Soonyung.
Revealing the secret to her sustained success, she said: “When it’s time for me to sleep, I always think about archery. That is why I can stay on top.”
Delighted to have the support of the Republic of Korea men’s team, who won gold 24 hours earlier, she added: “They also helped by sharing how to handle the venue well. That really helped me in the matches today and that is why I got good results.”
The women’s victory moment was delayed for a moment, as officials checked Ki’s final score on the target. But when it was confirmed, she and her team-mates hugged their coach Yang Changhoon and wept with joy on the shooting platform.
“Of course it is very important for me that I was there to achieve the seventh and eighth gold medal in a row for the Korean team,” Ki said. “I thought of all those people who really supported us. It was not won only by the three of us.”