London: South Korea won the Olympic gold medal in women’s team archery on Sunday for the seventh straight time.
Ki Bo-bae, Lee Sung-jin and Choi Hyeon-ju hugged and pumped their arms in the air after their 210-209 victory of silver medalist China. Japan took bronze for its first ever medal in women’s archery.
The American team, which finished second in the ranking round on Friday, fell 218-213 to the Chinese in the quarterfinals. The U.S. trailed by just a point going into the final round but China got five 10s in the final round, while the Americans got only one 10.
Miranda Leek, a first-time Olympian with more experienced teammates, Jennifer Nichols and Khatuna Lorig, said the trio talked about the work they put in to qualify for the games before they shot their last six arrows. They qualified in the last qualifying opportunity in Utah last month.
This is Lorig’s fifth Olympics, having represented three countries beginning in 1992, when she won bronze in the team competition on the Unified Team of the former Soviet Union. Nichols has been to two Olympics before.
The U.S. women’s team hasn’t won a medal since 1988.
"We’ve been through the pressure cooker," Leek said. "We’ve been through thick and thin and we’ve done our fair share of preparation and so all we needed to do at that point was go out there and do what we’ve been doing to get us to this point. I think we all shot good shoots. It just wasn’t enough.
South Korea and China also shot for the title in Beijing under similar rainy conditions. In 2004, the South Koreans also beat the Chinese.
Choi said South Korea prides itself on its Olympic achievements.
"To win gold is our target because we really, really want to achieve that," Choi said.
Fang Yuting of China said she knows South Korea is “a bit stronger” than her team now.
"We are determined and we are not afraid of them," she said.