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5 greatest Archers in Olympic history: The modern day Robin Hoods!

Kim Soo-Nyung
Kim Soo-Nyung
Misbah Shakir

archery

Archery, the sport, made its first appearance in the second edition of the Summer Olympics in Paris, in 1900 and has been contested in 16 Games since then. The sport, governed by the World Archery Federation, has been greatly popular, with eighty-four nations competing across various Archery events at the Olympics.

Archery was not contested in the Summer Games from 1920 to 1972, but has been part of every Olympic since. Recurve archery is the only discipline of the historic sport which features at the Olympic Games, and same will be the case for Rio 2016.

In terms of medals, the Korean women archers have dominated the sport, winning 14 out of 15 gold medals in the women's events since 1984, while the Korean men archers have dominated the team events, winning four out of seven gold medals. The United States are only second to Korea, but far away from surpassing their lead, with 8 gold medals to their name.

With the Summer Games just a few days away, we have compiled a list of the 5 all-time greatest Archer’s at the Olympics.


#1 Kim Soo-Nyung (South Korea)

17 Korean women have won gold medals in Archery, at the Olympics, but one name which stands out is Kim Soo-Nyung. With four gold medals, a silver and a bronze, Nyung is the supreme Olympic archer of the modern era.

The star of the Korean team, who took up archery as an after-school event at the age of nine, made it to the national team at 16, when she set a world record at 30 metres and won individual gold at the international ‘COQ France’ event, a forerunner of the Archery World Cup.

According to the Archer, “A strong bow arm is the most important element of technique, as it is the part that can cause the most errors. Fast shooting gave me my best performances, but I think each archer must find the timing that works for them.”

Nyung has also stated that consistency is the key to success for archers, “Consistent performance is the most important thing for archers. Most Olympic gold medalists perform consistently regardless of how they are feeling, and developing that consistency is a skill.

#2 Darrell Pace (USA)

Darrell Pace
Darrell Pace

“I can be talking to a competitor who is a friend, but when they blow that whistle, and I go to the line, I say: ‘He’s not going to beat me. I will not let him beat me.’” – Darrell Pace.

Darrell Pace, USA’s greatest target archer, holds a unique record of winning the individual men’s title twice, in 1976 and 1984. After winning the US national championships in 1973, he set a new world record on the 1440 Round with 1316 points and won his first World Archery Championships in Switzerland, the same year.

He has to his name, two golds and one silver medal in the Olympic games.

#3 Park Sung-Hyun (South Korea)

Park Sung-Hyun
Park Sung-Hyun

Taking up archery at the age of eleven, Park Sung-Hyun is the greatest Olympic archer of the 21st century. She won three golds and a silver medal from just two Games at the Olympics of 2004 and 2008. At 18, Park announced her arrival to the world, winning the World Archery Championships in Beijing in 2001, and the world team title two years later.

She is popular for her incredible form and ice-cold approach to competition. Making her Olympics debut at Athens in 2004, she made a mockery of a world record in the ranking round with 682, a record which was to last for at least 11 years.

#4 Hubert Van Innis (Belgium)

Hubert Van Innis
Hubert Van Innis (Picture Courtesy: olympic.org)

Hubert Van Innis, the unsung hero, won six gold medals and three silver medals from just two appearances in the Olympic games twice, 20 years apart (Paris 1900 & Antwerp 1920). The inspiring archer had a fulfilling career, winning the world championships in 1933 at 67 years old.

Continuing with archery well into his 80’s and 90’s, Innis died aged 95. We can only wonder as to how many more Olympic medals he would adorn, if the sport had been included in the Games of the 20s and 30s.

#5 Yun Mi Jin (South Korea)

Yun Mi Jin
Yun Mi Jin

Nicknamed by the teachers at school as ‘Pishiri’, which roughly translates as ‘sleepy person’, who would have thought that Yun Mi Jin would go on to dominate the Sydney 2000 Olympic games, where she won a gold medal each, in the individual and team archery events. She also won the Gold Medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004 in the team event.

In 2002, Yun took an Asian Games team title and, one year later, became the Individual World Archery Champion in New York, before adding another Olympic gold to her name, in 2004.

Archery helps you grow higher concentration. But you will get where you want to be if you love and enjoy what you do, as well as persistently try hard.Yun Mi Jin.


HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

1. Marco Galiazzo (Italy) – Two golds and a silver medal

2. Park Kyung-Mo (South Korea) – Two golds and a silver medal

3. Michele Frangilli (Italy) – One gold, one silver and one bronze medal

4. Lee Sung Jin (South Korea) – Two golds and one silver medal

5. Hiroshi Yamamoto (Japan) – One silver and one bronze medal

Edited by Staff Editor

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