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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado - USA Archery's new National Women's Head Coach, Songi Woo coached the very successful women's Mexico team during the London 2012 Olympics where they had women archers win the silver and the bronze medal in individual competition. After 2012, she led development efforts as the ArcheryGB Olympic Performance Coach, and is looking forward to a new challenge for the next quadrennial as part of USA Archery's coaching staff.
Coach Woo began archery at age 10: "My primary school had an archery team and I got started there as a hobby, but it was harder work than I thought," shared Woo. "I really enjoyed the competitions, they were exciting and I was very competitive. There were also lot of really nice people around and I really liked archery as well."
Along her path in the sport, Coach Woo had great success as an athlete before becoming a coach: "In 2001 I made the Korean senior national team. I represented Korea at the Asian Championships in Hong Kong where I won individual and team silver medals," commented Woo. A shoulder injury in 2006 made her take a step back, but wanting to stay involved and continue her studies, Coach Woo became the assistant archery coach at her University and quickly learned a lot.
Coach Woo is excited to work with the U.S. women and added: "I want them to become one of the world's best teams. When my athletes accomplish their goals, I feel like all the hard work pays off."
Rio 2016 Olympian and resident athlete Mackenzie Brown had Coach Woo behind her for much of her gold medal performance at the Texas Shootout last month. She shared: "It's really nice to have such a structured program with Coach Woo and really have her push us hard. That's what it means to me to be a Resident Athlete is to work hard every day and really get out of it what you put in, so I was really excited when she came in and had a strong program and really wanted to push us to work well as a team."
Five-time Olympian Khatuna Lorig is also looking forward to working with Coach Woo. She shared: "I'm very happy to have a female coach! She is my first female coach in my 33 years in archery and I'm looking forward to work with her in the next couple of years." As Lorig preps for the upcoming competition, she added: "I'm just staying positive and looking forward to competing with my team at World Championships."
Rounding out the recurve women's team in Mexico City next week is youth archer Eliana Claps. A student athlete at the University of Washington, Claps is making her senior World Championship debut with experienced teammates Brown and Lorig. "I had the opportunity to work with Coach Woo and the World Championships recurve women's team at the Texas Shootout," shared Claps. "It was great getting to know Coach Woo, and I appreciated how she took the time to discuss with me what would be helpful coaching during competition. I also enjoyed working with the team and getting more comfortable shooting together."
Follow Team USA's journey in Mexico City at www.usarchery.org. For more, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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