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Worth's historic campaign ends in dramatic shootoff

13 August 2016

ARCHERY: Taylor Worth has come agonisingly close to continuing on his historic run in Rio losing a quarter-final shoot-off in the individual event at the Sambodromo to bring Australia’s Rio 2016 archery campaign to a close.

Worth went down to eventual gold medallist Bonchan Ku of Korea a shoot-off as he looked to book a spot in the semi-finals and challenge for a second medal at these Games.

It was a heartbreaking finish for Worth who had to hit a nine in his last arrow to win the match but was just narrowly offline and scored an eight, pushing the match into sudden death. Ku hit a 10 with his first arrow of the shoot-off and Worth responded with a nine.

“It was an amazing experience to be out there,” Worth said.

“I made a few mistakes this morning but I had the break in the middle of the day to reset my body and mind and I went out there and felt my shots were great.

“I walk away happy and satisfied with my Olympic experience.”

In a see-sawing battle, Worth took the first set 28-26 before Ku went perfect to take the second 30-27 and level it up at 2-2.

Worth got back on target to re-take the lead after winning the third 29-27 before Ku again shot 30 to Worth’s 27. Ku opened the door for Worth to take the win but he was unable to capitalise.

“I don’t think anyone thought that I would win that match going up against one of the hardest Koreans so to be able to push them to a shoot-off was great.

“To have shot an Australian Olympic record (674) in the ranking round, help my team win bronze and I finished in the top eight in the individual so I am pretty happy.“

Having won team bronze almost a week ago, Worth will officially finish fifth to claim his best individual result in Olympic competition having finished ninth when on Olympic debut four years ago in London. No what the result would have been Worth was honoured to represent his nation at another Games.

“I’m very proud to pull on the green and gold every morning.

“It helps me remember where I come from and how lucky I am to represent the country that I love.”

The 25-year-old Western Australian made it through to the final eight after finishing 14th in the ranking round before defeating Ahmed El-Nemr of Egypt 6-0, Venzuela’s Elias Malave 6-4 and Spain’s Antonio Fernandez 7-3.

While no match is easy at the Olympic Games, facing off against one of the highly fancied Koreans is as tough as it gets.

Ku shot a perfect 60 in the team gold medal match as Korea finished on top of the podium. He then defeated his first two individual opponents 6-0 before dispatching of 11th ranked Florian Floto in the round of 16 6-4.

Ku then proved just had good he was by going on to claim gold over Jean-Charles Valladont of France 7-3 as Brady Ellison of the USA won bronze.

Worth’s team bronze alongside Ryan Tyack and Alec Potts will be forever etched in Australian Olympic history after it was the first medal the nation has claimed in a team event at a Games.

Tyack and Potts were knocked out of the individual event in the opening round of the event while Australia’s only female representative Alice Ingley won her opening match before bowing out in the round of 32.

Worth’s result is the third best ever by an Australian in an individual Olympic archery event behind Simon Fairweather’s gold (Sydney 2000) and Tim Cuddihy’s bronze (Athens 2004).

Matt Bartolo

olympics.com.au

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