South Korean fans were in shock yesterday after Chinese archer Zhang Juanjuan snapped the country's streak of winning every women's Olympic archery gold medal since 1984.
"I don't believe this," said 44-year-old Park Seon-joo, a fan who traveled to Beijing from Seoul with his two sisters. "I spent a lot of money to be here to cheer for them. To be frank, I never expected they could lose, because we've been winning all the time.
"This is like when China lost the women's singles gold medal in table tennis or when the US basketball team lost their men's title. You don't anticipate the loss, but it just happens."
South Korea's women's team has won the last six Olympic gold medals and its men's team is on a three-gold winning streak after both teams took titles earlier this week.
Park Sung-hyun, Kim Soon-yung and Yun Ok-hee all entered the quarterfinal yesterday, hoping to score a gold for their coach, who interrupted his cancer treatment to come to the Olympics.
But not all Korean fans are upset. Some believe the loss is actually good for their archers.
"We cannot always win all the time," said 21-year-old Kim Enn-min. "I think the loss is accidental, but it will be a good thing for us in the long run.
"You always need to test yourself and know what you are going to improve. Maybe we won too many tournaments before and we didn't have any real test. Today was a bad day for us, but I hope we can make it a good one in the future."
The 27-year-old Zhang was in solid form, beating Athens champion Park Sung-hyun in the final in front of a fired-up home crowd.
"I've dreamed about this a thousand times - to see those silver medals in my bedroom turn to gold," he said. "Fans have been waiting for quite a long time, I am happy that I didn't let them down again."
Source: China Daily