Archery News: Six more countries qualify for the Olympic Games.

Tehran (IRI) FITA News: The Asian Olympic qualifications tournament took place today in Tehran IRI. The Islamic Republic of Iran, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mongolia and Malaysia won a spot for the London 2012 Olympic Games (Archery News).

There were three individual spots per gender allocated at this Asian Continental Qualifying Tournament. Only the countries who had not won a place at the last world championships (in the particular gender) and who participated in the Asian Championships in Tehran could take part in this special tournament. The countries could only win a maximum of one place per gender.

Only recurve archers participate in the Olympic Games. They shoot matches with five sets of three arrows. Two set points are won in each set; hence the first athlete to 6 set points wins the match.

Recurve Men
There were 32 athletes competing in this category. Milad VAZIRI (IRI) won this tournament. He defeated teammate Keyva RIYAZIMEHR 6-4 in the semifinal and Witthaya THAMWONG (THA) 6-2 in the final.

THAMWONG survived a shoot-off in his quarterfinal against Rahmat SULISTIAWAN (INA). After the five sets, each archer had 5 points. They both shot a 9 in the shoot-off but THAMWONG was the closest to the centre. He then defeated LEE Kar Wai Calvin (HKG) in the semifinal 6-2.

RIYAZIMEHR defeated LEE 6-0 in the third-place match. However, since VAZIRI already won the spot for Iran, LEE earned the quota for Hong Kong. The quota belongs to the National Olympic Committee, not the individual.

Iran, Thailand and Hong Kong have therefore won a place for the archery men’s competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Recurve Women
A total of 31 women competed in this category. The No. 1 seed Bishindee URANTUNGALAG (MGL) and the No. 11 seed Ika Yuliana ROCHMAWATI (INA) dominated the event and met in the final. ROCHMAWATI won it 6-5 but both athletes earned a place for their country.

The last quota was played between the losers of the semifinals; the No. 2 seed Nurul Syafiiqah HASHIM from Malaysia and the No. 5 seed Sareh ASADI for the host Iran. HASHIM won the match 7-3 bringing a women place to Malaysia (the men already qualified a full team at the world championships)!

Indonesia, Mongolia and Malaysia have therefore won a place for the archery women’s competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games.  The athletes who missed their chance today will have a final opportunity at the Olympic world qualifier in Ogden (USA) in June 2012.

Recurve Men
Seeded No. 2 Khairul Anuar MOHAMAD (MAS) had to survive two shoot-offs in the 1/8 and 1/16 eliminations, respectively against Witthaya THAMWONG (THA) and Rahmat SULISTIAWAN (INA). However, his other matches showed true domination: 6 set points to 0 in the first round versus Dhendup YESHEY (BHU), 6-2 in the quarterfinals against Milad VAZIRI (IRI), 6-2 in the semifinal over the No. 3 seed Hiroki SUETAKE (JPN) and 6-2 in the final against another Japanese Hideki KIKUCHI.

HSIEH Chung-Hao (TPE) won bronze against SUETAKE 7-1. Recurve archers shoot matches with five sets of three arrows. Two set points are won in each set; hence the first athlete to 6 set points wins the match.

Recurve Women
The No. 1 seed Ren HAYAKAWA (JPN) was stopped in the semifinal by the No. 5 seed Zhara DEHGHANABNAVI (IRI) 4-6. The Japanese athlete won the bronze against Chuluun OYUNSUREN (MGL) 7-1.

DEHGHANABNAVI could not bring another gold medal to the hosts. She lost the final against the No. 15 seed YANG Nien-Hsiu (TPE) 3-7.

Compound Men
The No. 1 seed Reza ZAMANINEJAD (IRI) had to go through a shoot-off in his quarterfinal against CHOI Yong Hee (KOR). The match ended at 144-144 (15 arrows with cumulative scoring). In the shoot-off, they both scored a 9 but ZAMANINEJAD was the closest to the centre. Then he defeated the No. 4 seed MIN Lihong (KOR) 147-146 and Muhammad Zaki MAHAZAN (MAS) 146-138.

MIN won the bronze over the young Jignas CHITTIBOMMA (IND) 143-140.

Compound Women
The No. 8 seed Maryam RANJBAR (IRI) won a shoot-off versus the No. 1 seed and teammate Shabnam SARLAK. Both archers scored 139 points in the match and a 9 in the tie-break but RANJBAR was the closest to the centre. She then defeated Manjudha SOY (IND) 143-138 and the No. 2 seed LEE Hyun Jeong (KOR) 139-135 to take the gold medal.

KWON Oh Hyang (KOR) won the bronze medal against SOY after a tie-break: 140-140, T10-T9.

The continental Olympic qualifier tournament will be played on 24 October.

3. Alejandra VALENCIA defeated Leidys BRITO (VEN) and Miranda LEEK (USA) in the semifinal and the gold match to win her second gold medal in these games. She had been one of the members of the Mexican team that became Pan Am Champion the day before. In both matches the score was 6-2. She won 5 sets, tied two and lost only one. Another Mexican, Aida ROMAN took the bronze versus Leidys BRITO from Venezuela.

Alejandra VALENCIA is the second archer from a country other than the United States to win the individual gold in the Pan Am Games. Cuba’s Yaremis PEREZ had won in Winnipeg 1999. The previous champions from the USA were Lynette JOHNSON (1979), Ruth ROWE (1983), Denise PARKER (1987 and 1991), Janet DYKMAN (1995) and Jennifer NICHOLS (2003 and 2007).

Once again did Brady ELLISON show he is the best recurve archer in the world now, as he won his two matches versus very experienced and internationally laurelled archers: the local favourite Juan Rene SERRANO with a score of 6-2, and Canada’s Crispin DUENAS who fought till the last arrow in a match in which ELLISON needed to go to the fifth set to win 6-4. The US archer was ahead 4-2, but in the fourth set DUENAS shot a perfect 30 to tie the match. ELLISON’s 10-10-9 was better than his opponent’s 10-9-9 in the fifth end, and the Pan American Games titled returned to the United States.

They had lost it in Rio 2007 to the young Cuban archer Adrian PUENTES, who did not make the Cuban team this time. Other previous Pan Am Games champions include Rodney BASTON (1979), Darrell PACE (1983 and 1991), Jay BARRS (1987), Ed ELIASON (1995), Jason McKITTRICK (1999) and Victor WUNDERLE (2003).

The bronze medal went to a surprising 17-year old Colombian, Daniel PINEDA, who did not seem to hear the local crowd root for his opponent Juan Rene SERRANO, and achieved a historical victory 7-1. The archery competition of the Pan Am has concluded. The archers have said goodbye to Guadalajara and have started to get ready for Toronto 2015.

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