Ukraines Viktor Ruban wins first ever archery Olympic Gold Medal
Aug 08: Ruban scored 113 points to win the men's individual archery gold medal at the Olympic Games today, with South Korea's Park Kyung-Mo taking silver on 112 points and Russia's Bair Badenov winning the bronze by beating Mexico's Juan Rene Serrano 115-110. Viktor Ruban managed a ten in the last arrow, beating Park by one point and winning the first ever Olympic gold medal in archery for his country. In the 2004 Athens Games, Ruban won his second match, advancing to the round of 16. In the third match, he lost to Laurence Godfrey of Great Britain and was placed 13th overall. Ruban was also a member of the Bronze medal Ukrainian men's archery team at Athens.
Ruban said "It was difficult emotionally, maybe tomorrow I'll feel that I won the gold medal." Before the last arrow, Ruban and Park were tied on 103. Ruban nailed his last arrow with a ten and Park needed a ten to equal, but only scored a nine and had to settle for Silver.
Afterwards, Ruban said "In our country, we don't work with a psychologist, we only work on the technical side of things. We work on the psychological side ourselves to be focused at exactly the right moment,". For Park, at the age of 33, it's probably his last Olympics. "I think Beijing will be my last Olympic Games. I didn't do my best and I wound up with the silver" Park said. "I have already won world championships and Asian Games titles, but never an Olympic gold. The silver is good, but somewhat a regret for my career."
In the bronze medal play off, Russia's Bair Badenov knocked out Rene Juan Serrano from Mexico 115-110 to secure a place on the podium. In the quarter finals, Cuba's Juan Carlos Stevens (placed 5th) had a good chance of ousting Park. Stevens was two points ahead of Park before the last arrow, but only shot an eight to Park's ten in the shoot-off.
The reigning world champion Im Dong-Hyun (9th) was ousted by Victor Wunderle (equal 6th) from the US 113-111 in earlier eliminations. And to illustrate just how difficult the contest was, Alan Willis of the UK (16th) beat Italians Mauro Nespoli (equal 58th) in the round of 64 and then Marco Galiazzo (Gold medallist at Athens in 2004) (22nd) 110 to 109 in the last 32. Chu Sian Cheng of Malaysia (8th) beat Australia's Matt Gray (55th) 109 to 101 in the round of 64, while Jacek Proc of Poland (12th) beat Australia's Sky Kim (19th) 111 to 110 in the round of 32, where Gold medallist, Viktor Ruban beat Michael Naray from Australia (29th) 115 to 105.
Before the men's individual elimination shoots began, the Olympic record was 115. Lee Chang-Hwan of South Korea (14th) shot a near perfect score of 117 out of 120 to set a 12-arrow Olympic record in the elimination. Besides Lee's new record of 117, three other archers, Serrano, Park and Jacek Proc shot 116s in their elimination matches. The Olympic record was set 12 years ago at the 1996 Altanta Olympic Games by OH Kyo-Moon from South Korea, who is now the head coach of the Australian archery team. Lee Chang-Hwan also suffered an early exit to Cheng Chu Sian.
However the South Koreans collected both team's titles at the Beijing Olympics with the women's individual Gold medal going to Zhang Juanjuan of China who broke one of Olympic's strangleholds by upsetting South Korean defending champion Park Sung-hyun to win the individual Gold medal.
Few expected Juanjuan to be able to match it with the Korean women who have won every Olympic archery gold since Seo Hyang-soon first stepped up and took the title at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. Cheered on by a very vocal home crowd, Juanjuan beat Sung-hyun 110-109 in a tense final in a rain swept arena.
The Bronze went to South Korean Yun Ok-hee, who was desperate to win a medal for her coach Moon Hyung-cgul who is fighting thyroid cancer.
Juanjuan had beaten all three South Koreans on her way to the title, setting a new Olympic record of 115 in her semi-final against world record holder Ok-hee. "I have won honour for all archers in China and I believe the future will be brighter," said Juanjuan. "I dreamed I could win a gold medal every day. I was well prepared. It was a hard journey but I finally made it."
Juanjuan needed to shoot a nine on her final arrow to win and said she never doubted she could do it. "I was quitely confident. I shot the last arrow without any hesitation because I was confident" she said.
Australians Lexie Feeney was one of 6 placed 48th and Jane Waller was equal 54th.
Men's Individual Archery Results
- Gold - Viktor Ruban, Ukraine
- Silver - Park Kyung-Mo, South Korea
- Bronze - Bair Badenov, Russia
Women's Individual Archery Results
- Gold - Zhang Juan Juan, China
- Silver - Park Sung-Hyun, South Korea
- Bronze - Yun Ok-Hee, South Korea
Women's Team Archery Results
- Gold - South Korea (Park Sung-Hyun, Yun Ok-Hee, Joo Hyun-Jung)
- Silver - China (Zhang Juan Juan, Chen Ling, Guo Dan)
- Bronze - France (Virginie Arnold, Sophie Dodemont, Berengere Schuh)
Men's Team Archery Results
- Gold - South Korea (Im Dong-Hyun, Lee Chang-Hwan, Park Kyung-Mo)
- Silver - Italy (Marco Galiazzo, Ilario di Buo', Mauro Nespoli)
- Bronze - China (Xue Hai Feng, Li Wenquan, Jiang Lin)
(The Australian men's team was placed 9th)