Round of 16
The women with a sharp eye for shooting showed up to the first of the elimination rounds for today. The four teams on the bye included South Korea, Chinese Taipei, China, and Russia, leaving the first set of arrows to Mexico and Georgia. The Mexicans had a relatively easy start and shot their way to a perfect 6-0 sweep. Their run was capitalized by their ten hits on center compared to Georgia’s three. For Georgia, their number seven ranked team in the world walked away defeated at their early and faltered exit, giving Mexico the next chance which comes against Chinese Taipei.
Then arrived Ukraine and Japan, who battled back and forth throughout the shoot-off. Tension only became worse within the four sets, as each end was decided by two points or less. But Ukraine stumbled in the fourth, which arguably cost them the match, shooting a seven to eventually lose to Japan on a final score of 214-217.
The hosts Brazil came next, rivaling the Italians who have come a long way for the third shooting of the morning. Italy was thankful to catch Brazil on a disastrous off-day, as the South American squad hit two fives in his first two sets, gifting the Europeans the win. Boari Lucilla stood composed and stiff in her form, guiding them to 162 points at just 19-years-old.
Lastly came India and Colombia, who featured two top archers in Carolina Aguirre and Deepika Kumari. The match in skill became evident after the first two sets leveled the score at 2-2. The third end only generated more pressure with a draw at 52 points, thanks to s costly six point shot by Colombia. But in the final fourth set, Aguirre misfired to hit a three on the target, which proved to be the ultimate demise for the South Americans. India advanced to the quarter finals with luck on their side to face Russia.
Taking the first shot of the new round were Mexico who found themselves in a tough match against Chinese Taipei. They jumped on the attack quickly, taking the first two sets and seeming to upset Taipei without struggle. But after losing the third and hitting a dreaded five on the last shot in the fourth end, Taipei tied up the score 2-2 for a shoot-off. Two arrows for both countries came at a nine, although a seven just outside the eight for Mexico ended their dreams of a medal, allowing Taipei to advance on a miraculous comeback.
Next up were Italy and China under a cloudy afternoon. Both teams ended the first set on a draw, despite Italy’s efforts in hitting two tens. Following in the second, China struggled to find their range, marking two sevens that gave the Claudia Mandia and her teammates a small victory at 49-48. But Wu Jiaxin led strong with her nine in the third set and perfect ten in the fourth, as her compatriots followed suit scoring just as well. A combination of mind games and wind battled Italy, setting them back level at 3-3, leaving the final end up to anyone. Yet the heroics of Guendalina Sartori shooting ten and nine marched Italy to the semi finals, where an even tougher challenge awaited them.
For the third match-up of the round, the two featured countries were Japan and South Korea. As rivals separated by only a strip of water, the South Korean giants came to dominate. The number one ranked team in the world was guided by a fantastic outing by the reigning individual champ Ki Bo-Bae, who clearly had eyes set on two gold medals this year. While Japan tried their best after winning the first set, South Korea proved to be too sharp as they won the final two for a 5-1 victory and spot in the semi finals.
Finally the remaining contenders India and Russia readied their recurves for what would be a heart racing shootout. Deepika Kumara kept India’s hopes alive, contributing to the seven tens the team had achieved throughout the match. Russia tried to pull away after winning the second and third set for a 4-2 lead, but it ultimately came to a three arrow sharpshooting contest. Unfortunately for India the Russians pulled away with a ten in their set, leaving the score at 25-23 for their advancement to the next round.
Russia stood determined in reaching the finals, knowing their competition would most likely be South Korea. With such a mindset, they defeated Italy despite a few worries, carrying a win at 5-3. Their shooting proved costly, having 47 points in the second set, but through the third and the fourth a solid 52 was enough to capture a relieving smile. Tuiana Dashidorzhieva turned away any doubters in her first Olympics at just 20-years-old.
For Chinese Taipei, a shooting against South Korea seemed like David and Goliath. Yet in this version of the story, Goliath towered tall in victory. The South Koreans had no problem breezing their way to the final, scoring an improbable 60 perfect points on the first set. From then on out the mental challenge stuck deep into Taipei, who could only tie one set before succumbing 5-1.
Bronze medal match
With dreams still alive to win a medal for their country, Italy pulled together the last of their arrows against Chinese Taipei. But the marksmanship of Lucilla Boari wasn’t enough after Taipei took the first two sets, shooting an impressive five tens. But their luck ran backwards after netting triple sevens in the third granting Italy two points, leaving the lead on the line in the fourth. In tip top form Taipei took home the bronze after scoring 56 points possible out of 60, leaving everything on the line for the win.
Gold medal final
Now the round everyone had been waiting for, the gold medal final. South Korea looking down on Russia. The number one ranked team in the world versus the number two. Exactly like the men in their final match, South Korea obliterated from the beginning, totaling 59 on the first six arrows. Four tens provided a back-to-back set victory to make the lead 4-0, and all it took was a draw to claim themselves as Olympic champions. Russia couldn’t perform with all the odds against them, only nailing two tens in their final shootout. South Korea now claim gold for both the men’s and women’s team archery.