RIO DE JANEIRO: South Korean archer Chang Hye-jin dethroned defending champion and teammate Ki Bo-bae en route to claim the women’s individual title at the Rio Olympics here Thursday (Friday in Manila).
The 29-year-old Chang drilled three perfect-score and seven 9-score hits from 12 arrows to beat German dark horse Lisa Unruh, who just ranked 21st in the qualification round, at 6-2 in the four-set final.
In the thrilling semifinal against teammate Ki, Chang shrugged off a 3-score poor hit in the first set and rallied to win in 7-3 after five sets.
“I’m very proud of myself for winning the Olympic gold medal,” Chang said. “I kept thinking positively and trying to stay confident to win the final.”
It was the eighth women’s individual gold medal won by South Korean archers in the last nine editions of Olympic Games and also the first individual title in major international events claimed by Chang, who started archery in 1998 and made her international debut in 2010.
Unruh, who became the first German archer to win an individual Olympic medal, was thrilled by her results.
“I feel amazing. I can’t believe I’m an Olympic medalist. I’m so happy now I can’t speak,” said Unruh.
“I’ve never worked as hard as I have this year, for the last 10 years. The medal is a big, big present for me. Now I need a break. I’m going to the German House and we’ll party,” she added.
In the bronze medal match, Ki defeated Mexican’s Alejandra Valencia 6-4, nailing three 10-score hits in the fifth set to seal the victory.
The third South Korean archer Choi Mi-sun, who ranked first in the qualification round, was smashed by Mexican Alejandra Valencia 7-1 in the quarterfinal match.