Today launches the start of the games at Rio and archery is one of the first events viewers have the opportunity to watch. Today the mens teams will compete for gold. After the ranking rounds for the recurve men teams. The top three teams are Korea, USA and Italy. The Italian team are the reigning olympic team champions from the London 2012 games. Team USA has been looking strong through the practice rounds and we are excited to see how they perform today! GO TEAM USA!!
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This morning we watched the 1/8 elimination rounds. The matches were France - Malaysia, Netherlands - Spain, People's Republic of China - Brazil, and finishing up the rounds Chinese Tapei - Indonesia.
Unfortunately due to technical complication with our NBC Olympics App we were unable to watch the first match of the mens teams elimination rounds. However, France secured a spot in the quarterfinals beating the Malaysian team 6 set points to 2.
Up next the Dutch Team competed against the Spanish team winning with 5 set points to 1. The Dutch team was looking strong all the way through dominating the ends. Then in the last end shockingly loosed an arrow that scored a 5 on target allowing an opportunity for the Spanish team to possibly gain new hope for another round and another chance at the quarter finals. Sjef van den Berg being a solid anchor, pulled his team through to the quarter finals finishing with a 10 on his last arrow.
We watched next as the host team took the stage competing against PR China. The crowd was definitely hyped up to watch their national team compete at the Olympics, cheering loudly as the Brazilian team competed against the People's Republic of China. Both teams brought their best to the arena, but PR China's team was so solid and consistent. Gu X.S. was particularly impressive to watch. He looked calm and steady making every shot seem effortless in the Brazilian heat. PR China secured their spot in the quarter finals later this afternoon.
The final match up for the 1/8 elimination rounds was Chinese Taipei and Indonesia. The Indonesia team came out performing strong right from the start putting pressure on Chinese Taipei. The maintained that strength and consistency throughout only offering one opportunity for Chinese Taipei to make a come back and fight for their spot in the quarter finals. Chinese Taipei was unable to take advantage of that opportunity and the Indonesian team locked in their position advancing to the quarterfinals later today.
Australia comes out shooting strong and consistent. France steps up to the challenge trying to put pressure on the Australian team through the first two set and manage to tie the set points 3 - 3 in the third set. Australia surprisingly opens up with two 8s in the fourth set allowing France the opportunity to overcome and push out the Australian team needing only two 10s and a 9 to win, and shockingly pull a 6 in the final arrows of the match. Australia will move on to the semi finals.
Korea opens up with Kim Woo Jin who broke the individual male recurve record and secured the first record of Rio 2016 with 700 points in the ranking rounds yesterday. The Korean team opens up with 28 points on the target and the Dutch team really needs to apply the pressure on the Korean team, but is only able to open up with 26 points. Sjef van den Berg's first arrow is scored a 10 and he continues to look solid in his form. We are looking forward to seeing him the the individual rounds as well. Korea allows a rare opportunity for the Dutch team when they score an 8 during their second 3 arrows of the set, but the Dutch team is unable to capitalize on this opportunity and yield the set to the Koreans. Rick van der Ven was a strong lead for his team in the second set scoring two 10s in the second set, but the Koreans dominated the 10 ring and gained the set points scoring only 1 arrow outside of the 10 ring. The Korean team secured their spot in the semi finals with a sweeping win against the Netherlands scoring 30/30 in the final rotation of both the second and third sets. The Korean team is maintaining their reputation as the team to beat!
The People's Republic of China shot well against the host team from Brazil earlier this morning and now takes on the reigning olympic mens team from Italy. The Italian team doesn't open as strong as expected, and yields the first set to PR China. Gu X.S. continues to shoot strong scores acting as team anchor for PR China. The Italian team shoots first in the second set and scores a 23 in the first rotation, really removing the pressure off of the Chinese team for this set and they take the set points after the second rotation. The Italian team unfortunately was struggling to keep their shots in the gold during all three sets. The Chinese team knocks out the reigning Olympic champions with a sweeping win as well, which means that PR China will progress to the semi finals and we will have a Olympic gold team this year.
USA elects to shoot first and opens up with Jake Kaminski as the lead, Zach Garrett shooting second, and Brady Ellison anchoring the team. Team USA shoots a 29 in the first rotation of the first set and finishes it off set with 57 points to secure the set against Indonesia's 51. The Indonesian team comes back much stronger during the second rotation of the second set applying pressure to Team USA who loses the second set to Indonesia by 3 points. The teams go into the third set tied 2 - 2. Team USA opens strong and maintains gold during the third set, but Indonesia was fighting hard to take or split the set falling short by only 1 point, so Team USA takes the third set leading 4 - 2. Surprisingly, after such a strong set the Indonesian team opens with a 7 from their lead and finishing the first rotation with 7 again from their anchor and remove some of the pressure from Team USA. They rise to the occasion and easily take the fourth set and advance to the semi finals later today. Only one arrow out of gold during the entire match. Great job Team USA!!
UPDATE SEMI FINALS
Korea opens up the first rotation with an impressive 30! This really puts the pressure on the Australian team. The Australians rise to the occasion finishing the set off only 2 points behind the Korean team who scored 59/60 points. The entire arena was holding its breath waiting to see if they would start their first set with a perfect score. Australia gains strength in the second set opening up with a 29 and a one point lead agains the Korean team after the first rotation. Australia drops a point in the second rotation and Korea capitalizes on this opportunity and ties the set at 58 points and splitting the set points. Going into the third set Korea leas 3 - 1 against the Australian team. WAIT! The judges have upgraded a point for the Korean team after judging the line breaks on target!! Korean takes the entire set much to the dismay of the Australians who had fought hard and well during the second set. The score is 4 - 0 going into the third set with the Koreans leading. You can definitely see how this has affected the mental game for the Australian team. They open the first rotation with only 26 points removing the pressure from the Korean team and it is looking like this will be their final set of Rio 2016. The Korean team managed to keep all of their arrows within the gold, sweeping the Australians and securing their spot in the finals. The Australians will have one more shot at an Olympic medal in the Bronze medal match.
Team USA opens up with a strong three arrows scoring 29 after the first rotation. The pressure has been put on PR China's team. Though they have shot strong all day, the pressure seems to have gotten to them in this first set as they open with only a 25. At the end of the first set Team USA leads 2 - 0. PR China's team comes back fighting and opens the next set with 28 points. Team USA meets their pressure with some pressure of their own by starting out the second set with 29 points. The Chinese go into the second rotation strong with two 10s only to be shocked by an 8 from Gu X. S. Gu has been so consistently solid all day that his performance in this match has been surprising. Team USA finishes as strong as they started and take the set points going into the third set with a 4 - 0 lead. PR China opens with 26 points during the first rotation, but suddenly Ellison drops an 8 and allows for a small window of opportunity for the Chinese team. PR China tried to fight for it, but Team USA finishes with 55 points against the Chinese 53 points. The United States sweeps PR China and secures their place in the gold medal match against Korea. PR China will meet Australia in the bronze medal match. Excellent job Team USA and good luck in the gold medal match!!
UPDATE BRONZE MEDAL MATCH FINAL
The bronze medal match opens up with Australia shooting first and scoring 27 points. China follows close behind with 26 and only one point behind the Australians. The scores are close and the pressure remains through the second rotation. The Australians manage to take the first set by one point against PR China. The second set followed closely, but Australia manages to pull ahead in the second rotation and takes the second set as well. It is looking good for them to beat PR China and win the bronze medal for Rio 2016 recurve men teams. Australia goes into the third set putting pressure on PR China. The Chinese team would have to win the set completely and take the fourth set to push a shoot off to have a chance at the bronze medal. And China puts the pressure on Australia pushing to win the third set for the opportunity at another chance. They win the third set and bring the score to 4 - 2 with Australia still in the lead. China opens up strong in the fourth set with a 29 after the first rotation, but the response from the Australians is equally as strong and the counter with 30! It's truly turning into a battle for the bronze!
WAIT! PR China starts the second rotation with a 7!! This really removes a lot of the pressure off of Australia to complete the set and win the bronze medal. They only need to average 8 per archer to win the medal. And we'll tell you what Australia wants to go all the way because they shoot a 59/60 in their final set taking the bronze medal. It is the first time that Australia has ever won a medal in the Olympics for recurve men teams!! Congratulations to the Australian team on their win.
UPDATE GOLD MEDAL MATCH FINAL
Korea comes out strong with a 30 after their first rotation. Pressure is on for Team USA in this gold medal match from the start. Team USA opens nicely with a 29 only one point behind Korea. Zach Garrett has to reset on his first shot, but stayed collected and was able to get a 10. Korea continues the second rotation with a perfect score! an Impressive 60/60 in the first set for Korea! What an intense opening against Team USA. Kaminski drops one into the red zone and Team USA trails behind Korea by 3 points in the first set and the set points go to Korea. After the first rotation in the second set Team USA and the Korean team are tied with 27 points. Team USA continues strong into the second rotation and pulls 10s from all three USA archers! Korea shows equal determination and the teams will split the set points tying at 57 points.
WAIT! The judges have done it to us again! Korea gets an arrow upgraded and so they will take the set 58 points to Team USA's 57 and lead 4 - 0 into the third set. Team USA needs to maintain their mental game and continue to shoot as well as they did in the previous set. They open the third set with a 29 after the firs rotation. The Koreans match their score with 29 points after the first rotation as well keeping the score closely tied. Kaminski comes into the second rotation with a beautiful 10x shot! Garrett pulls a 9 and leaves it to the anchor Ellison to finish out the set, but Ellison drops it into the 8 ring! Korea now has the opportunity to win the gold and finishes out the last set with 30 points to take the gold medal at Rio 2016. That will leave Team USA the silver medal. Congratulations Team USA on a great run! As always, we're so proud of your hard work and good luck on the individual rounds!!