Unfancied Italy beat USA in final to win team gold

London – GBR, July 28, 2012: Olympic Archery, Italy, silver medallists at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, went one better as they beat world No. 1 USA 219-218 to win the gold medal in the men’s team event at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Saturday.

Michele FRANGILLI (ITA) needed a 10 to clinch it and the multiple world champion kept his nerve to confirm a surprise victory for the outsiders, who are ranked No. 9 in the world.

Marco GALIAZZO (ITA) and Mauro NESPOLI (ITA), two survivors from Beijing 2008, backed up FRANGILLI well and there was no sign of a repeat of four years ago when NESPOLI’s final shot in the 7 cost them gold.

Brady ELLISON, Jacob WUKIE and Jake KAMINSKI (USA) could not capitalise on their semifinal win over favourites Korea and were always behind in the final.

Korea were left to contest the bronze medal match, the first time since Barcelona 1992 that they failed to make the men’s team final. They met Mexico, who lost a close contest with Italy 217-215 in the other semifinal, and made sure they finished with a medal with a 224-219 victory. Juan Rene SERRANO (MEX) started with a 5 and that gave Korea the advantage.

China, who qualified in 3rd from the ranking round, lost 226-220 to Italy after a poor final end.

USA came into the Games as world No. 1 but with questions being asked about their recent form. The trio seemed to have answered those questions in the semifinal against Korea. Going into the final end, USA led 165-164 then showed no sign of nerves to score 59 out of 60 and win 224-219.

Earlier, Korea equalled their Olympic record of 227, set at Beijing 2008, having already broken the world record in the ranking round. The usually reliable IM Dong Hyun (KOR) hit the 8-ring and OH Jin Hyek (KOR) also scored an 8 as they beat Ukraine 227-220 in the quarterfinal.

Beijing 2008 gold medallist Viktor RUBAN (UKR) started slowly in that match, shooting 8, 8 and 7 before coming to terms with the windy conditions. However, RUBAN, Markiyan IVASHKO and Dmytro HRACHOV (UKR) never looked like challenging Korea.

Romain GIROUILLE (FRA) could only score a 6 with his first arrow as No. 2 seeds France went down 220-212 to Mexico, who changed the order of their team during the match. The tactic worked for Luis VELEZ, SERRANO and Luis ALVAREZ (MEX).

India, who started the Games as one of the rated teams, lost 29-27 to Japan in a shoot-off after a 214-214 tie in the first round.

Great Britain failed to adjust quickly enough to windy conditions, going out 223-212 in the first round to Ukraine. Alan WILLS (GBR), Simon TERRY (GBR) and Larry GODFREY (GBR) admitted afterwards that they were shooting too high and that was backed up by the grouping of the arrows during the first two ends. By the time they adjusted, Ukraine had opened up too big a gap.

An under-par showing from Chinese Taipei ended their hopes in the team event. They were knocked out by a solid Italian side who did not need to extend themselves.

Malaysia failed to hit the gold zone with their first five arrows which meant they lost to Mexico despite closing out their final half with a perfect end of 30. —- World Archery Federation

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