Oh hoping injury does not affect performance on home soil

Oh Jin Hyek shows off his hand injury at Gwangju 2022

Oh Jin Hyek’s hands have certainly seen their fair share of archery action over his prestigious 30-year career in the sport, which started back in 1992.

In his medal-laden line of work, the 40-year-old Korean recurver can boast two Olympic golds including, most recently, a men’s team title earned at Tokyo 2020 last year. He was, of course, the first man from Korea to ever become individual Olympic Champion when he won London in 2012.

Tokyo was potentially his last before retiring but he has kept going – reportedly to have a shot at the now-delayed Asian Games – seeding 16th with a 661 in qualification in Gwangju this week at the second stage of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup.

But as he prepares to face Italy’s Athens 2004 Olympic Champion Marco Galiazzo in recurve men’s eliminations on Friday (20 May), those experienced hands could prove to be his Achilles heel after a slight mishap in qualification.

“When we were pulling our arrows out of the target there was just a moment when we weren’t aware of our surroundings and I hurt my hand,” he told World Archery in Gwangju.

“It was just something that could have happened in any situation. It happened in the fifth end of the first half of the ranking round. It’s fair to say that this injury does make me worry a bit.”

“After I got hurt, there was quite a bit of swelling so it affected the way I was shooting and I don’t think I was able to shoot the second half very well.”

Oh was not wrong.

His first set of 36 arrows saw him register a 340 and sit fifth, but just 321 points for the second half was only 48th-best on the field and left him 16th overall.

That is a lesson about learning lessons, with Oh admitting he will not be in top shape as he bids for his 14th-career stage gold medal.

“I need to be more cautious down the road,” he said. “It was a lesson that I need to be more careful in the future.

“We still have individual eliminations so I’m going to try to make sure this injury doesn’t affect my performance but I think it’ll be hard to shoot at 100%.”

Quotes courtesy Vanessa Lee.