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Women's in S Korea's hand and men's open for archery
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12:44, August 10, 2008

For women's archery competition at the Olympic Games, it's already in South Korea's pocket even without playing, but it's really open for men's titles, U.S. head coach Lee Ki-sik summed up on Wednesday.

Lee, who has been described as the "Guus Hiddink of archery", said South Korea's women had a supreme air of confidence that made them practically unbeatable.

"South Korea's women are at such a high level they feel that even if they miss with an arrow, they can always get it back with the next one," Lee said.

"It's like they are adults shooting with elementary school children. No one can beat them with that kind of confidence."

South Korea has built up strong confidence over successful record of years.

South Korea has won every gold medal in women's archery since the 1984 Games. Park Sung-hyun is the reigning Olympic champion, while Yun Ok-hee set a world record of 119 points from a possible 120 at a World Cup meeting in Turkey in May.

China pushed the Koreans to the very last arrow in the team event in Athens four years, but Koreans just pulled back with a ten-point, taking one point advantage to bring gold home.

Italy's world champion Natalia Valeeva could also cause an upset in the individual competition.

"But the men's event is very close," said Lee, who coached South Korea until the Atlanta Games before moving to Australia and the United States. Australia's Simon Fair weather won gold under Lee's tutor in Sydney.

"South Korea are the best but the gap is closing. And this is the Olympics so anything can happen."

The pressure will be on world number one Im Dong-hyun to win South Korea's first men's individual title, but the world champion is not short of rivals.

Athens champion Marco Galiazzo from Italy and world No.2 Baljinima Tsyrempilov from Russia are obvious contenders but Sky Kim of Australia and young American Brady Ellison also have their sights set on gold.

Kim won the Beijing Olympic test event last year while 19-year-old Ellison took silver in the third World Cup stage in Turkey in May.


Comments Related News
1 China 7 3 0 10
2 USA 3 4 5 12
3 South Korea 3 2 0 5
4 Australia 2 0 3 5
5 Japan 2 0 2 4
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