On the second day of the Tokyo Olympics, Russian archers repeated the success of the previous Games. In the team competition, Ksenia Perova, Inna Stepanova and Svetlana Gomboeva again, as in 2016, reached the final, in which they lost to the favorites of the Koreans – too strong, virtually invulnerable.
This silver, of course, had a slightly different shade than the one that was won five years ago. In Rio de Janeiro, the standard reaction to the news that domestic archers found themselves in the final of the team competition was a surprise bordering on shock: “But what, we can shoot from a bow ?! They’ve never won anything serious … ”But, having gone through the shock, a person rushed to check his feelings and discovered: at the London Olympics in 2012, for example, Russian athletes were a little short of bronze, and their personal achievements were not so modest – they had , it turns out, there is.
Today’s silver should be perceived as something completely natural.
Russian women’s archery throughout the period between the two Olympics was quite competitive.
So competitive that she managed to add an unconditional achievement to the relative achievements: its leader Ksenia Perova took gold at the World Championship in 2017. The other two archers who became part of the team also performed well – the experienced Inna Stepanova, who helped Perova in Rio, and the young Svetlana Gomboeva, who replaced Tuyana Dashidorzhieva in the troika fighting for the Olympic award. In general, it seemed silly to be surprised by the fact that the Russians again broke through to the final, convincingly defeating the Ukrainian, American and German women. Unless the incident with Gomboeva in qualifying competitions suggested some unpleasant thoughts: she received a sunstroke and even lost consciousness. But on the way to medals, she shot great, no worse than her partners.
The only thing that prevented the Russian team from taking another step forward was the fact that South Korea, a country where this genre is insanely popular, has not disappeared from women’s archery, which has mastered some incredible ways to grow imperturbable, not paying attention to circumstances, tension , good luck to the girls rivals.
Once there was even a rumor that the training regime of Korean women included snake charming classes, which strengthened endurance, but even if there are still no such exercises, the methods are clearly absolutely unconventional.
South Korea reigns supreme in the genre. Archery team tournaments entered the Olympic program in 1988 in Seoul. And since then, Korean women have taken exclusively gold at the Olympics. They simply do not know what defeat is, they hardly even imagine that they can lose. Well, at least – at the Olympics. And it doesn’t even matter not even the young, but the young age of the members of the small team – 20, 22 and 25 years old, it doesn’t matter that only the older Kang Che Yun has a solid track record, while the other two have formally scanty.
To understand everything about the Korean women, it was necessary to carefully look at their faces after the shots during the final. Sending an arrow to the nine, they frowned as if they had launched it somewhere outside the stadium, although the nine is actually great. For everyone, but not for them, who agreed to accept congratulations only after the “dozen”.
The Russian team, I must say, performed well in the final.
The sums that the team scored in each of the three rounds – 55 points, 53, 51 – would be more than enough to beat any opponent a little easier. For the Korean women, these rather large sums of points were so-so benchmarks.
Is that the first round they won “on a thin”. In the next two, the feeling that the Korean margin of safety was too huge was very strong. Undermining it requires a miracle added to mastery. But for the second consecutive Olympiad, the Russian team managed exclusively with skill.