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NEMATI from Iran Paralympic Champion!
After shooting a Paralympic record in the qualification round, Zhara NEMATI (IRI) was supreme in all her matches to take the gold medal in the Recurve Women W1/W2! In the standing category, YAN Huilian brought the first archery gold to China.
The women shot their individual medal matches at the archery competition of the London 2012 Paralympic Games today! The W1/W2 and Standing categories were played in the morning. The athletes shot their semifinals and then either the bronze or gold medal matches.
Every individual archery match at the London 2012 Paralympic Games is the best of 5 sets of 3 arrows. There are 2 points per set to be earned. The first archer to 6 six set points wins the match! If the regulation number of sets (5) ends at 5-5 set points, there is a one-arrow only shoot-off, closest to centre wins!
Here some commentaries from the field!
Recurve Women W1/W2
Zahra NEMATI (IRI) started the morning sessions with another dominant performance. She is the No. 1 seed from the qualification and she beat the defending Paralympic champion Gizem GIRISMEN from Turkey in the quarterfinals. Today, NEMATI beat Veronica FLORENO (ITA) in straight set 6-0 (26-21, 23-19, 27-24).
The second Italian was therefore quickly on the field for the second final. The No. 2 seed Elisabetta MIJNO (ITA) met the No. 11 seed LI Jinzhi (CHN). The Italian was consistent but not great in the first three sets with 23, 23 and 23. Her opponent shot 24, 13 and 26, hence LI led 4-2. Then MIJNO (ITA) edged up her game with 9-10-10 in the fourth set and tied the match at 4-4.
MINJO started the fifth set with a 9. LI replied with a 9. Elisabetta scored another 9. LI as well! The No. 2 seed MINJO finished the match with a 10! That was too much for the No. 11 seed LI who finished with a 6. MINJO was through to the final and a clash against the No. 1 seed NEMATI!
The No. 11 and 12 seeds, respectively LI and FLORENO, made their way to this bronze medal match after six days of intense archery! The Italian started with 8-7-7 but the Chinese scored 8-8-9 to take an early lead. FLORENO did not help her cause when she began the second set with a 6. She followed up with 9-9 to reach 24 points, but LI had 8-9 and an 8 (just inside) to get to 25. The Chinese led 4-0.
FLORENO found some rhythm scoring another 9 to start the third set. LI had a very long hold for her first arrow and it did not help. She scored a 1. FLORENO finished with 9-7. LI did OK with 8-9, but the Italian came back at 2-4! LI ran into more troubles in the fourth set with 6-3-8. FLORENO was not perfect either with 9-4-9 but that was enough to tie the match at 4-4! It was going to the decisive set!
LI had to start the fifth set. She had an 8* (meaning it could turn into a 9). FLORENO shot an 8. LI had a 7. FLORENO seemed to take the lead with an 8. LI finished with a 9. FLORENO needed pretty much a 10 to ensure victory. She scored a 6 and it was defeated. LI won the bronze medal 6-4 in set points.
The No. 1 seed NEMATI is the world record and Paralympic record holder. She shot magnificently during the qualifications despite difficult weather conditions to start the competition and has been strong in every match. The No. 2 seed MIJNO had come along very nicely since she had to win a play-off at the 2011 world championships to get a spot in these Paralympic Games!
Both archers shot 25 points in the first set. Then both archers started the second set with 9-9. MIJNO finished it with an 8. NEMATI launched a 10 to take a 3-1 lead in the match. MIJNO started the third set with a 10! She followed up with 8-9. NEMATI began with a 9 but continued with 10-9. She led 5-1.
MIJNO definitely tried to put pressure on in the fourth set and started again with a 10. NEMATI had an 8. MIJNO scored another 10, but it was matched by NEMATI. The Italian finished with a 9 and the Iranian a 10. MIJNO took this set with the score of 29-28 (!) and came back at 3-5.
Since she kept trailing, MIJNO opened the fifth set. She shot a 7. NEMATI had a 9. MIJNO scored a 9. NEMATI a 10. MIJNO could not put much pressure with her last arrow, an 8. NEMATI scored a 9 and became the new the Paralympic Champion! Reportedly the first Paralympics title ever for Iranian woman!
Recurve Women Standing
The No. 4 seed, defending Paralympic champion and two times individual world champion in 2001 and 2005, LEE Hwa Sook (KOR) shot against the No. 8 seed Javzmaa BYAMBASUREN (MGL) in the first semifinal. BYAMBASUREN took out the No. 1 seed GAO Fangxia from China 6-0 in the quarterfinals!
LEE was using a lot of the clock (20 seconds) to release her arrows but she was quite effective in the first two sets (27-23, 26-26). She led 3-1 in set points. Then LEE shot a “Miss” in the third set and BYAMBASUREN took the opportunity to come back at 3-3.
Both athletes started the fourth set with 9-9, but BYAMBASUREN finished it with a 2. That opened the door for LEE who won this set with a 6. LEE led again, 5-3.
The Mongolian athlete had to put pressure on the fifth set to tie the match. However she started it with 7-7. LEE had 7 and a 9, at the very last second. BYAMBASUREN shot a last 9, very close to the 10-ring. LEE scored a last 9 to book herself a place in the final!
The No. 3 seed YAN Huilian (CHN) played the No. 2 seed Milena OLSZEWSKA (POL) in the second semifinal. YAN started with 25 and 25, while OLSZEWSKA had 26 and 21. The match was tied at 2-2. YAN raised up her game in the third set to win it 27-24. OLSZEWSKA could not do any better in the fourth set starting with a 4 and a 6. A last 10 was not enough for her. YAN scored 8-7-9 to take the match!
The No. 8 seed BYAMBASUREN took on the No. 2 seed OLSZEWSKA for the bronze medal. The Mongolian had the better start (23-20), but she scored a 4 (between 10 and 9) in the second set. The Polish athlete took the opportunity to come back at 2-2 in set points.
OLSZEWSKA shot first in the third set and scored a 9. BYAMBASUREN had a 7. Then both athletes had a 6. There are some little gusts of winds in the stadium and it can be tricky. BYAMBASUREN finished with an 8, OLSZEWSKA took the set with another 9. She led 4-2.
BYAMBASUREN needed to put pressure but started the fourth set with 8-8. She did finish with a nice shot in the 10-ring. However, OLSZEWSKA ended the match on a strong fashion with 9-9-10 to win the bronze medal!
It was YAN against LEE for the gold medal match. YAN had a good start with 9-9-9. LEE was a bit below, 9-8-9. The Korean reacted well in the second set (25-24) to tie the match at 2-2.
In the third set however, LEE, who waits a long time before shooting, ran out of the clock for her second arrow! She scored 10-0-8. YAN had 9-8-9 to take a 4-2 lead.
The defending Paralympic champion and two times individual world champion could not afford to lose another set. She started the fourth set with a 9. YAN had a 7. LEE scored an 8*. YAN a 10. LEE finished with an 8. YAN had the opportunity to win gold if she shot a 10 with her last arrow of the set! She scored a 7*! It was in the hands of the judge to see if any arrow with the * touched the line. The scores were confirmed as 9-9-8 (26) and 7-10-8 (25). The match was tied at 4-4!
YAN started the fifth set with a 9. LEE had a 9. YAN scored a 10! LEE had a 7. YAN needed a last arrow in the “yellow” this time. She did it with a 9! YAN was the new Paralympic champion! LEE finished with an 8 and had to content herself with the silver medal.
The Compound Women Open, with the two British athletes Danielle BROWN and Mel CLARKE are up this afternoon!