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August 23, 2010

US Archers Fall Short

The Youth Olympic Games for archery came to a close Saturday, with Ye Ji Kwak (KOR) and Ibrahim Sabry (EGY) taking gold in the Junior girl's and boy's finals, respectively.  Both young archers faced tough competition throughout the week in their respective journeys to the podium.

The 1/8 elimination rounds saw Team USA's Miranda Leek (Des Moines, Iowa) retire after a heartbreaking 6-2 loss to Isabel Viehmeier (GER); Leek's opponent went on to the quarterfinals, where she was stopped by Tatiana Segina (RUS), 6-0. Segina ultimately advanced to the semifinals, joined by Mariana Avitia (MEX), Ye Ji Kwak, and Ya-Ting Tan (TPE).

In the semifinal matches, both Kwak and Tan defeated their opponents to advance to the gold-medal match, while Avitia and Segina shot for the bronze. Kwak took three sets to Tan's one and claimed the gold, 6-2, while Segina also won her match with the same score, taking the bronze.

For the Junior boy's, Rick van den Oever, who qualified first, moved steadily through the 1/8 and quarterfinals, securing a spot in the semifinals. Facing Bolot Tsybzhitov (RUS), van den Oever continued his winning streak and advanced to the gold-medal match. Ibrahim Sabry, who was seeded 10th after the ranking round, shot well enough to take a 6-2 victory in his own semifinal match against Gregor Rajh (SLO).

The finals saw two shutouts; in the gold-medal match, Sabry claimed victory and the gold medal in just three sets against van den Oever, 6-0. Tsybzhitov won the bronze medal by the same margin in his contest with Rajh.

The Youth Olympic Games also debuted a unique mixed team round, in which participants were mixed both by gender and country. Solid shooting by Rajh and his teammate Zoi Paraskevopoulou (GRE) secured them a place in the gold-medal match against the team of Anton Karoukin (BLR) and Gloria Filippi (ITA). They were joined in the finals by Miriam Alarcon (ESP) and Md. Emdad Haque Milon (BAN), who competed for the bronze-medal against Abdud Mohamed Jaffar (SIN) and Begunhan Elif Unsal (TUR).

The team of Karoukin and Filippi outshot their competitors 7-1, taking the gold medal in four sets, while Rajh Paraskevopoulou claimed the silver. The bronze match was closely contested, with Mohamed and Unsal tying the team of Haque Milon and Alarcon after five sets. The match was won by Mohamed and Unsal, who shot a two tens in their tiebreaker to the other team's 19, winning the bronze.

Complete results for the Youth Olympic Games are available here.  

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