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August 10, 2008

South Korea wins again in women's Olympic archery

BEIJING (AP) South Korea carried on its dynasty in Olympic women's archery Sunday, picking up its sixth straight gold medal in the team competition.

South Korea beat China 224-215 for the gold medal.

The South Korean women are 6 for 6 in the team event since its inception in 1988, and the country has won 15 gold medals overall in archery. China won the silver, and France took the bronze.

South Korea's team of Park Sung-hyun, Yun Ok-hee and Joo Hyun-jung routed France 213-184 in the semifinals before beating China. Park, Yun and Joo are the top three seeds in the individual tournament, which begins Tuesday.

"We came to the Olympics with high hopes and expectations," Park said. "I believe we were able to achieve this medal because of the people around us who helped us."

In 2004, South Korea defeated China by one point, but this one wasn't even close. However China's Zhang Juan Juan, who was on the 2004 team, refused to acknowledge that was an indication that the South Koreans had improved dramatically since then.

"The Korean team really played up to their normal level," Zhang said through a translator. "They are a very good team. The gap of one point to the nine points does not really illustrate much. The surroundings may be different ... there may be other factors."

Later Zhang complimented the South Koreans.

"The Korean team indeed demonstrated their strength again," she said. "I think our team is going to learn more from the Korean team."

The team won in front of a raucous, mostly Korean crowd When the event ended they danced, sang and chanted while holding up banners and flags.

"More people turned up than was expected," Yun said.

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