Israel’s first Olympic archer makes last 16 as more favourites eliminated

Itay Shanny shoots at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Itay Shanny had already broken new ground for archery in Israel by landing in Tokyo to compete at these Olympic Games.

He took things one step further on Wednesday morning, first upsetting the number five seed from Japan, Muto Hiroki, and then beating India’s Tarundeep Rai in a second-round shoot-off with a 10.

Ahead of the Games, Shanny said many people in Israel were congratulating him on winning the quota.

“My answer is always, ‘thanks, it was the first step,’” he said. “The next step is to actually perform well at the Olympics. Just making it there isn’t enough.”

They were focused words from the 22-year-old.

But did anyone really think that Shanny, the world number 92 and 60th qualifier at this event, would make it into the third round?

Israeli athletes are not permitted to give quotes to the press until they are done competing. That’ll now be on the last day of the archery competitions at these Olympics for this surprise archer in the last 16.

Muto wasn’t the only high-profile casualty during Wednesday morning’s session.

The number two seed in the women’s event, Korea’s Jang Minhee, lost her second match to Miki Nakamura. She broke into tears after leaving the field.

Head coach Park Chaesoon consoled her in the mixed zone.

“I told her that I know you will be the one who will feel the most disappointed, because you tried your best,” he said. “If you want to cry, you can cry as much as you want, take your time.”

Having won all three team medals at these Olympics, both Korean archers to compete individually so far have been eliminated. Seventeen-year-old phenom Kim Je Deok lost to Florian Unruh in the second round yesterday.

Kang Chae Young and Kim Woojin take to the arena this afternoon in Yumenoshima Park.