Korean women win ninth straight Olympic team title
Korea defeated Italy, Belarus and then ROC in the final to secure its ninth consecutive Olympic Champion title in the recurve women’s team event and remain unbeaten at the Games since 1988.
Kang Chae Young, Jang Minhee and An San were never threatened in Tokyo.
“This gold medal is very special for me for two reasons. The first is that a gold medal at the Olympic Games is a dream for every archer. I’m here and I did. And the second is that this is a team medal, which means we did it together, and for us, that is more important,” said Chae Young.
“I’m so proud to be a member of the Korean team. I’m happy and this is a big honour for me.”
Ahead of their quarterfinal match, the advanced statistics said that there was a 78% chance that Korea would win gold, comparing data from their qualifying performance and position to results at internationals over the past decade.
The reality looked much closer to certain.
Their first set of the competition was an exceptional 58. While other teams struggled with the wind, the Korean trio averaged 9.24 points per arrow.
With second-seeded Mexico caught out by the conditions in the arena, delivering an underwhelming performance in a quarterfinal loss to Germany, the team with the best shot at challenging archery’s dominant nation was eliminated early.
An San was the star – and highest-scorer – of the Korean team in all three of its matches.
Also the top individual seed at this Olympics, who had already secured mixed team gold with Kim Je Deok yesterday, never missed the yellow and shot eight 10s in her 18 arrows.
“I believe this team is the strongest ever because we act as one,” she said. “We know each other well, we trust each other and we push each other to do our best.”
The women’s team event debuted at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.
Korea won there – and have won at every Games since, building one of the most enduring winning streaks in Olympic sports history. Nevertheless, this is only the third time archery’s that winningest nation has put a rookie team atop the podium.
The medals in Tokyo were completed by Germany, featuring Rio individual silver medallist Lisa Unruh.
Lisa, Michelle Kroppen and Charline Schwarz beat Belarus, 5-1, to bronze.
The archery competitions continue at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with men’s team day on Monday 26 July 2021.
Final ranking: Women’s team