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Archery-S.Korean women win ninth gold with K-pop tunes

·2 min read

By Ju-min Park

TOKYO (Reuters) -South Korea won a ninth consecutive gold medal in the women's team archery event at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday, tying the record for the longest gold medal streak in Olympic history.

The South Korean women beat the Russian Olympic Committee team 6-0 in a clean sweep, continuing the country's gold medal run and matching the nine straight golds of the United States in the men's swimming 4x100m medley relay and Kenya's men in the 3000m steeplechase in athletics.

"It is unprecedented. As a team, we had ambition and a goal to win the team's event, and we did it well," said South Korean archer An San who claimed her second gold at Tokyo, asked about the nine straight gold medals.

The 20-year-old An, who on Saturday won gold in the first ever mixed team event at the Olympics, was smiling again on Sunday, exchanging fist bumps with her two team mates.

"I already achieved my goal, so I am going to enjoy the individual event from now," said An.

With no fans allowed in due to coronavirus protocols, K-pop tunes like Psy's "I LUV IT" filled the venue to celebrate their victory. An's team mate Kang Chaeyoung said it was "too bad" that the songs by global phenomenon BTS she requested were not played.

HEATSTROKE FOLLOWED BY SILVER

Russia's Svetlana Gomboeva helped her team win silver, two days after collapsing with sunstroke at the Tokyo Olympics.

"I started to think that I would let the girls down," Gomboeva said, adding that her family encouraged her to come back to the field.

"I went to talk to the coach and he told me, 'Svet, this was a reset. Everything that is coming up will be wonderful.' And as he said, everything turned out to go wonderfully.” she said.

Tokyo's blazing sun has made attendees rush for the shade at the archery venue, with team mates cheering from under umbrellas in the mostly empty stands.

On Friday, Gomboeva had collapsed with heatstroke while checking the final scores in the ranking round.

Most venues at the Olympics will be without spectators as Japan tries to rein in an upsurge in COVID-19 cases.

But the one-year delay to sport's biggest event benefited Germany's Lisa Unruh. After a shoulder operation she had looked set to miss out, but the pandemic gave her the time to recover, and finally to win a bronze.

The German team of Unruh, Charline Schwarz and Michelle Kroppen overcame Belarus 5-1 in the bronze medal match.

"I am really happy. We are not going to have a big party tonight but play cards together as a team to celebrate," Unruh told reporters after the win.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; additional reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Karishma Singh and Hugh Lawson)

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