Thursday, August 2, 2012
Ki Bo-bae wins archery gold
LONDON -- South Korea's Ki Bo-bae won the Olympic gold medal in individual archery Thursday after Aida Roman of Mexico lost a tense, sudden-death shoot-off.
It was Ki's second gold of the London Games after South Korea won the women's team competition.
With the sets tied at 5-5, the top-seeded Ki managed only an eight in the shoot-off for the individual title. Roman just needed to put her arrow in the yellow center ring, but she lost when it ended up further away from the center than Ki's.
"Today, I think I was, in part, lucky," Ki said through an interpreter. "I didn't see the last shot by Aida because I was just praying so hard. Finally, the gold medal was intended for me."
The gold was South Korea's third medal in archery. The men's team won bronze.
Roman's silver was the second medal of the day for the young Mexico team after 18-year-old teammate Mariana Avitia beat American veteran Khatuna Lorig 6-2 in the bronze match at Lord's cricket ground.
It denied Lorig a second medal in her fifth Olympics and 20 years after her first -- a bronze in the team event at Barcelona in 1992.
The No. 2-ranked Ki was stronger in the opening stages of the packed final on the perfectly manicured turf normally reserved for the world's top cricketers.
Buoyed by the Korean supporters, she led 3-1. But Roman won the last two sets, picking up four set points to force the shoot-off.
Ki went first and looked downcast after she missed the 10-point center circle in a tricky crosswind.
But Roman also was off-target with an eight, sending her arrow left and further away from the center then Ki's. The relieved South Korean hugged her coach in celebration, while Roman smiled ruefully after the pressure got to her.
"Strictly speaking, it wasn't that difficult a shot," Roman said, "but it became a lot more complicated."