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August 15, 2008

Ukraine's Ruban wins men's individual archery

BEIJING (AP) There is no individual gold for the dominant South Korean archers this year.

Ukraine's Viktor Ruban took advantage of a mistake by Park Kyung-mo to win 113-112 in the Olympic gold medal match in men's individual archery Friday.

Ruban's victory came a day after China's Zhang Juan Juan upset South Korea's Park Sung-hyun in the women's individual archery final. South Korea won both team events in Beijing.

Ruban, who was seeded third, had won a bronze medal as part of Ukraine's team in 2004, but never an individual Olympic medal.

"I deserve the medal because I've trained for 14 years," he said. "I give thanks to the support of my nation, my people and my family."

Ruban had a 103-95 edge after his 11th arrow when Park scored just 8 on his 11th to make it an even score. Ruban scored a 10 on his 12th shot, forcing Park to get a perfect score to stay in the match. Park missed the center section by a few millimeters.

Park, who celebrated his 33rd birthday Friday, said this likely was his last Olympics. Though he felt pressure to please a large South Korean crowd, he appreciated the cheers.

"In the final round, you saw a very exciting game, and it was an honor to be participating," he said. "It gave us the opportunity to show that archery can be a very exciting sport."

Russian Bair Badenov claimed the bronze with a 115-110 win over top-seeded Juan Rene Serrano of Mexico.

U.S. archer Vic Wunderle defeated reigning world champion Im Dong-hyun of South Korea 113-111 to advance to the quarterfinals, then lost to Serrano 113-106. The score was tied 54-all after six arrows, but Serrano scored 10 on five of his last six to win easily.

"Serrano shot really good," Wunderle said. "I shot good, he shot better. The Olympic games are about the extraordinary."

Wunderle, the 2000 silver medalist in the event, said his Olympic showing was the highlight of his year.

"All in all, I had a good competition," he said. "It hadn't been my best season, but I saved my best performance for the games."

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