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Dream still going on for Paralympic archer
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15:51, September 15, 2008

The archer on wheelchair didn't win a gold medal at the Beijing Paralympics, but he said he got something more valuable.

"I recorded the performance of Cheng Changjie with my video camera and I am going to show it to others back in Taiwan," said Tseng Lung-hui from Chinese Taipei.

China's Cheng Changjie, 19, just won the event of men's individual recurve. And the 49-year-old Tseng took a hard-won bronze.

It was the first Paralympic archery medal for the team of Chinese Taipei.

Tseng's fight for the bronze seemed even more difficult than the final.

In the first series Tseng had been in a draw with Ozgur Ozen from Turkey until the last arrow, in which he outscored his rival 9-8.

The second and third series saw the sun-tanned man pulling away gradually. Before the last series, he had boasted an advantage of three points.

However, the rallied Turkish gained two 9s with the first two arrows, before Tseng, who seemed a little bit lax then, surrendered his lead with an 8 and a 7. They got tied.

In the decisive last shot, Ozen who shot first scored an 8.

Tseng aimed for a while and let go of the arrow. It flew into the circle of 8 points as well. 92-92. They were forced into a shoot-off.

This time Tseng didn't give his rival too much chance, scoring a 9. Ozen, however, made just a 6.

"The competition was very tough," Tseng said. "But I have the luck today."

In fact, the man had a shoot-off as well in the quarterfinal, in which he shared the same score of 105 with Lee Hong-gu from South Korea but managed to beat him later 9-7.

Tseng, who used to be a worker, fell off a building by accident in 1996.His life was saved, but due to the injured spine, he couldn't walk anymore.

"My life suddenly became dark," he said, noting that for several times, he wanted to end his life and agony.

Fortunately a local organization helping disabled with rehabilitation approached him, inviting him to some outdoor activities so as to step out of shadow.

One of the activities was archery, in which Tseng developed interest and later met his coach Li Chia-tzu in a competition.

"He was a student in the college majoring in sports and worked then as a judge," Tseng recalled.

Li said he well remembered the enthusiasm of those people despite their unprofessional performances.

"Many of them called me later, asking me to coach them," Li added.

It takes the coach one hour driving from Taipei to Taoyuan, where Tseng and his fellows live, but he never asks for any salary.

"Physically, they had little strength in the waist, and psychological, they were self-contemptuous with difficulty to learn something new," he said.

But Tseng is different.

"His only problem is emotional fluctuation," the coach said. Therefore, he took the archer out every evening before the competition. "He got tired and slept soundly, without thinking of anything useless."

Tseng finished eighth in Athens.

Now an engineer for a company, the archer said the sport changed his personality. "I became optimistic and tolerant," he said. "Before I was injured, I was often hot-tempered and strict with others."

Tseng, who plans to compete in the next Paralympics, noted that he would not be in the sport for a long term.

"Although I love the sport, there are many young talents and I won't block their way," he smiled.

Regarding the video, Tseng hoped it could help newcomers improve quickly.

It is also the hope of his coach.

"Archery is a good sport to bring the disabled people in sunshine again. We should make it more popular."

Source: Xinhua

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