8 takeaways: Rio 2016 individual eliminations day 1

The three days in the middle of the Olympic archery competition see archers take to the arena, for the first time alone, for the first and second rounds of individual eliminations.

The 128-strong field will be just to just 32: the 16 men and 16 women who gain the opportunity to compete on the individual medal days that conclude the archery tournament at Rio 2016. (The women’s gold will be awarded on 11 August, men’s on 12 August.)

Each day from 8 to 10 August, about a third of the matches take place. Here are eight takeaways from the first day of individual eliminations…

1. Favourite = out

Kim Woojin has featured in two of the biggest news stories of this Olympic tournament. The first was his phenomenal world record on the ranking round. The second was not so positive for the two-time World Archery Champion.

The men’s favourite was beaten in the second round by Indonesia’s Riau Ega Agatha, 6-2.

“I prepared so much for this and I feel that everything is gone now. I’m in shock. I don’t blame anything or anyone, I just regret not doing well today,” Kim said.

2. Olympic Champion = In

Better news for the Korean delegation came courtesy of Ki Bo Bae, the defending women’s individual Olympic Champion from London.

The third seed in Rio overcame Shehzana Anwar, of Kenya, then Ukraine’s Veronika Marchenko to make the last 16.

3. Got Ginga

Brazil will have at least one archer shooting on women’s final day.

Ane Marcelle Dos Santos, the 26 seed, dispatched Nagamine Saori, from Japan, and Australia’s Alice Ingley. After the first win, an emotional Dos Santos began crying on the shooting platform, hugging coach Evandro de Azevedo.

“I got really emotional against Japan because I was required to get a 10 and I heard a reporter say I needed a 10 to get to the next round,” she explained.

“The Olympic Games are really tough, so I practised a lot and trained a lot and I was very happy, and that's why I was crying.”

Dos Santos also said her goal was to make the last 16, which she has now achieved.

4. Evil eye

Sjef van den Berg, who booked his spot in the last 16 with wins over Arne Jensen and Mete Gazoz, took his sunglasses off to shoot for the first time. It revealed a bloodshot right eye.

“The day before the qualification, I got really sick and had to throw up. While doing that a blood vessel popped. It looks more serious than it is. It doesn’t affect my vision at all. I didn’t need my glasses today, therefore everyone saw the evil eye,” he explained.

So… earlier this week and the day after being very ill, Sjef shot a 684-point ranking round to seed fourth.

5. Emotional Aida

London 2012 women’s silver medallist Aida Roman fell to Alexandra Mirca in the first round. Though she was actually seeded 11 places lower than Mirca, Roman’s loss felt like an upset.

“London was completely different. Here is another Games. I think the field was behind me, all the people there who wanted a medal, but i couldn’t. So, it was difficult. Obviously I would like to get something for my country, but I couldn’t,” she said.

6. Look-a-like Leo

Overnight, somebody decided to point out that there was some resemblance between Brady Ellison and Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio. (Judge for yourself.)

I’m not going to link to any of the many articles/features/posts here – you can Google it – but Brady was asked what he thought of the comparison:

“I've had it told to me before, even when I was younger. I personally don't see a huge resemblance, maybe besides the facial hair. He is a good-looking dude so I guess it's a compliment.”

7. Weather report

The afternoon of day one of individual eliminations was windier than previous competition sessions in the archery arena in the Sambodromo. The wind was on archers, not on the target.

8. Tripartite run

What about Myanmar’s Htwe San Yu? The Tripartite invitation archer, ranked 51 in Rio, upset the 14th seed in Taru Kuoppa and then took down the USA’s Mackenzie Brown, shooting a perfect-30 set in the process, to make the last 16.

Four years ago, Myanmar’s lone competitor in London – Myo Aung Nay – opened up the men’s bracket in exactly the same manner. Beware Myanmar archery Olympians!

The Rio 2016 Olympic archery competition continues with individual eliminations on 8-10 August.