Valeeva recurve Champion/photo FITA
Semi-final: Erdyniyeva (RUS) – Valeeva (ITA)
Seeded no. 2, Valeeva opened her duel with Erdyniyeva with a 9-10-10 and 29 points. With two 7s and an 8, the Russian was already trailing by seven points after only one end! She managed to recover a little in the second end, shooting 9-10-10. The Italian scored a 8-9-10 series and led by five points at that point (56-51). In the third end, Erdyniyeva came back to trail by four points after she scored 8-9-10 and Valeeva 9-9-8 (82-78). The Russian fell apart in the last end shooting 7-10-6 and a total score of 101. Valeeva clinched victory with 109 points and a chance to shoot for the gold medal later on.
Semi-final: Park (KOR) – Nichols (USA)
This semi-final in Recurve Women featured Olympic Champion, Park from Korea, facing the American Nichols. The Korean opened with a triple 9 to take a 3-point lead over Nichols (27-24). She increased her lead to five points shooting another triple 9 series while her American opponent shot 9-8-9 (54-49). Following with a 6, Nichols lost all hopes of coming back in this match. With 10-10-8, Park took a more than comfortable 10-point advantage with only three arrows to go. She clinched her victory with 10-9-10 to compete for the gold later in the afternoon. Final score: 111-97.
Bronze Medal: Nichols (USA) - Erdyniyeva (RUS)
Shooting for bronze is the most difficult… as you either get a medal or nothing! The two ladies seemed to be shaking a lot and they both started with 9s and 8s only. Nichols took the lead, though shooting one point better than her opponent (26-25). A triple 9 followed by Erdyniyeva giving her an intermediate total of 52. This was enough to take a 2-point advantage half-way, as Nichols scored 8-9-7 (50). The American recovered in the third series, tying the score at 78 after shooting 9-10-9 and her opponent 8-9-9. Nichols opened the last end with a 9 and an 8. Erdyniyeva took a 3-point advantage before the last arrow (98-95). The American closed her match with a 10 for a total of 105, and her opponent just won the bronze by a hair’s breadth with 106!
Gold Medal: Park (KOR) - Valeeva (ITA)
The gold match in the Recurve Women category was between the two top seeded archers: Park finished 1st in the qualifications, while Valeeva ranked 2nd. The two archers opened with a 10 and they both followed with an 8! Park’s third arrow (10) was better than that of Valeeva (9) by one point and she took the lead at the end of first end (28-27). Everyone thought that the Korean had already made all the difference when she took a 2-point advantage due to two 8s by Valeeva. However, the Olympic Champion scored an unusual 7 and was only one point ahead at the half-way mark (53-52). The end of the match was just crazy! In the third end, Valeeva shot a great 10-10-9 series. Park seemed to be losing track and scored 9-8-9 to trail for the first time in the match: 91-79 in favour of the Italian. Valeeva then took a 4-point advantage shooting a 10, while Park shot another 8. The latter then shot a 9 and Valeeva shot a 7… decreasing her lead to only two points before the last arrow! Park shot a perfect 10 to put some pressure on her contender, but Valeeva could held her composure and also shot a 10. With 108-106, she becomes the new Champion of the World!!!
photos Janos Schmidt