Tight-shooting Japan bully way to recurve men’s team gold
Shanghai (CHN) - Sunday, April 27, 2014
FURUKAWA and Japan knocked the fight out of team finalists Australia. It left the Ozzies no room to manoeuvre…
“Japan didn’t leave us any chance of winning a set,” said three-time Olympian Matt GRAY, shooting in the recurve men’s team gold medal match for Australia. “They shot extremely well. They started very strongly and finished very strongly.”
In three quick sets Japan dropped just 10 points over 18 arrows. It was a clean win for a team that’s been efficient since beating China in a first-round shoot-off.
It was also a good sign for Hideki KIKUCHI, who shoots for individual gold against France’s Pierre PLIHON in the afternoon.
The Ozzie trio was thrilled to win Australia’s first men’s team medal since 2008. GRAY was part of that medal-winning squad.
“The team competition is a great experience,” said GRAY. “Hopefully before Denmark [Copenhagen 2015] and Rio 2016 we can win more medals for Australia.”
World silver medallists Rick VAN DER VEN and Sjef VAN DEN BERG won their first World Cup team medal with new third member Mick DE BAKKER. They beat Ukraine in four sets.
“I was really calm today,” said DE BAKKER. “I did some breathing and little meditation. I spent time with my teammates before the match, to make sure we were good together.”
“We chose today’s line-up order – Rick, me then Sjef – because Sjef can shoot a good arrow in a short amount of time. Rick and I are a little bit slower. If we have a narrow timeframe he might shoot a 10 while we might slip off and shoot a nine or an eight.”
DE BAKKER slides in to replace Rick VAN DEN OEVER from that world championships team. The seamless change speaks to the Netherlands impressive competitive depth in the men’s recurve division – and their ability to work together.
“It’s always a good battle, lots of competition and a lot of fun to do,” said DE BAKKER, of the competition to make the Dutch team.
China won women’s team gold in front of a home crowd and raucous swarms of Chinese photographers. XU Jing and her team won Olympic silver at London 2012, and outscored Colombia in every set at Shanghai.
The silver is the first ever recurve World Cup medal for Colombia.
Japan’s women, led by Olympic team bronze medallist Ren HAYAKAWA, won bronze.
Follow the first 2014 Archery World Cup stage in Shanghai.