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- 07. August 2008.

Korea remains the team to beat



Korea has won all five women's archery titles since the team competition format was first included in the Olympic Games 20 years ago, and is again expected to be the team to beat at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.


Winner of the individual title at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, PARK Sung-Hyun (KOR) leads the Korean team. PARK is ranked No. 2 in the world behind teammate YUN Ok-Hee (KOR). Both PARK and YUN hold world records.


China is again expected to provide the Korean women with stiff competition. The Korean women beat China in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games on the last arrow of the competition. China is led by ZHANG Juan Juan, the winner of the 2006 World Cup Final in Merida, Mexico.


Fourth in the Athens Games, Chinese Taipei has emerged as a real threat in Beijing. At the Leipzig 2007 World Championships, Chinese Taipei took the silver medal, losing to the powerful Koreans in the final.


Other strong medal contenders in the women's team event include Great Britain and Poland. Allison WILLIAMSON (GBR), who won the bronze medal at the Athens Games, should play a major role for the British.


Poland, the current European champion, fields Justyna MOSPINEK (POL), one of four archers set to attend the Archery World Cup Final later this year.


In the women's individual event, Natalia VALEEVA (ITA) is expected to challenge the Koreans and Chinese for a medal.


At 39, VALEEVA is one of the eldest archers in these, her fifth Olympic Games. The reigning world champion won the 2008 World Cup Stage in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and is ranked No. 3 in the world.


Other potential medallists include Natalya ERDYNIYEVA (RUS), Dola BANERJEE (IND), and Jennifer NICHOLS (USA). BANERJEE was the winner of the 2007 World Cup Final in Dubai.



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