You’re on the edge of your seat as your country’s top athlete is about to take his final shot to win or lose the championship…what sport are you watching?
Basketball? Nay. ARCHERY!
Team USA has earned its first medal of the London Olympics with a silver in the men’s team archery event. This final was truly intense, riveting and entertaining, but equally heartbreaking, with USA losing on Italy’s last shot – JUST nicking the “bulls-eye” for a 10 – by one point.
Brady Ellison, Jake Kaminski, and Jacob “Wookiee” Wukie took silver for USA. Off target during the early portion of the match, Kaminski and Wookiee (allow me to indulge) went on a tear, hitting several 10s leading into the final end, but Ellison, who is No. 1 in the world, couldn’t convert himself. It was an 8 by Kaminski and a 9 by Ellison in the last end that had it looking like Italy would finally take Gold in an event they took Silver in during the 2008 Beijing Games.
However, Italy upped the intensity with two 8s to lead off their last set of arrows, with a lead of 9 going into the last shot by Michele Frangilli, who had to get a 9 for a shoot-off. Instead, he nicked the left edge of the 10 circle with no room to spare, and Italy was golden. Frangilli had built Italy’s early lead with several clean 10s.
The intensity of an archery match was probably enhanced by the Olympic atmosphere and the international competition, but consider perhaps that archery is not so different from a widely popular spectator sport based on accuracy and marksmanship – golf.
Bronze medalists South Korea, who won gold in 2008, were defeated by USA in the semis.