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South Korean archers brace for Rio Games

Reporter: U-Jean Jung 丨 CCTV.com

08-06-2016 19:40 BJT

Full coverage: 2016 Rio Olympics

28-year-old reigning individual Olympic champion Ki Bo-bae is setting her sights on climbing to the top of the podium once again at Rio.

She won two golds 4 years ago in London, but she has every reason to try her hardest this year.

"I am going to think of Rio as my last Olympics and will prepare to give it my all," said Ki Bo-Bae, archer from Republic of Korea.

After starting archery in elementary school, Ki made her international debut at the age of 22.

And she thinks this time, her main competition may actually come from her own team.

"Choi Mi-sun has the best condition right now, and because she won the individuals at the recent international competitions, I think she is the strongest archer to compete against," said Ki Bo-Bae.

There will be 306 gold medals up for grabs at the Rio Olympics, and South Korea aims to win at least ten golds, and finish in the top ten for the fourth consecutive time. They won 13 golds in London in 2012, and archers won three of them.

South Korea’s dominance in Olympics archery started in 1988 in Seoul, winning every single women’s team competition since the event was introduced then.

"South Korea has a great system. We manage the athletes systematically since they are in elementary school all the way to national team member. We also have excellent teachers, and also a great financial backing by the Korea Archery Association and Hyundai Group," said Moon Hyung-Chul, head coach of Archery Team from Republic of Korea.

The team shoots more than 500 arrows each day, for 7 to 8 hours.

"Rio’s archery range was actually a carnival ground. They built archery facilities there. So, we at Taeneung National Training Centre, we built similar facilities and hold same simulation trainings," said Moon Hyung-Chul.

And the main focus for the final six archers leading up to the Olympics will be to stay healthy, and for the five who will be competing at their first ever Olympics, the biggest challenge would be to avoid getting Olympic stage-fright.

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