Korea wins first-ever Olympic mixed team title
Kim Je Deok and An San defeated the Netherlands, 5-3, in the final of the first mixed team competition in the history of the Olympic Games to take Korea’s first gold at Tokyo 2020.
“I’m really glad to take the gold medal,” said An San. “I’m really happy to take gold for the first time.”
Having comfortably beaten Bangladesh, India and Mexico, the top seeds came up against a surging Dutch duo, Gaby Schloesser and Steve Wijler, in the gold medal match.
The Netherlands opened stronger, winning the first set, 38 points to 35, but Korea then took the next two.
Needing a set win in the fourth to force the tiebreak, Gaby and Steve delivered an exceptional 39-pointer – but they were matched, point for point, An San producing a nine with her final arrow to seal the victory for Korea.
Kim Je Deok roared.
“When we lost the first set, we felt a little hesitant and too ambitious,” he said during the post-match press conference, before relaying the words of his coach at the time: “Don’t be too greedy, don’t lose focus.”
The 17-year-old, who is also the top men’s individual seed at these Olympics, is still in high school.
He’s now also an Olympic gold medallist. (And, interestingly, exempt from military service in Korea because of this result.)
The Dutch silver medal is the country’s best result in archery’s modern history on the programme of the Games.
“The amount of hours we put into this, it’s great that something like this comes out of it,” said Wijler. “It’s amazing that we performed well today and I truly believe we won silver here.”
Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia and Luis Alvarez defeated Turkey, 6-2, in the bronze medal match.
Competition continues at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with women’s team day on Sunday 25 July 2021.
Final ranking: Mixed team
- Great Britain