Roman upsets Korean seeds to take Bangkok gold

10 December 2015
Bangkok (THA)
Roman was the lone wildcard in a field of strong Korean recurve women at the second stage of the Indoor Archery World Cup.

Seven Korean recurve women and Aida Roman comprised the quarterfinal line-up at the second stage of the Indoor Archery World Cup in Bangkok. Aida, who boasts an Olympic silver medal on her resume since London 2012, was ranked seventh after qualification.

“I arrived in Bangkok with no expectations,” said Roman. “We’re training for Rio 2016 already and I’ve only been shooting 70 metres these past weeks. Although the mindset is similar at any competition, the tension can get a little higher at 18 metres.”

After shooting 580 points on the ranking round, Aida showed no sign of bowing to pressure through her first two matches.

The 27-year-old, who was outdoor Archery World Cup Champion in 2014, dropped just a single set in victories over Singapore’s Ng Ann Nee and Laura Bennett Shelton from the USA.

Drawn against the number two seed, Park Sehui, in that nearly all-Korean last eight, Aida shot her best match of the tournament.

Putting just three arrows – of 15 – out of the 10-ring, she beat Park 6-4, and upset the bracket. Then a semifinal win over Kang Hansol, which saw Roman come back from a 4-0 deficit to take the match 6-4, had Aida into a gold medal match against former world youth silver medallist Sim Yeji.

The pair were even after three sets, 3-3, then even after four, at four set points apiece.

Yeji put her first arrow of the last set into the nine, and Aida had an opening. She shot three consecutive 10s for a perfect 30 to close the match, taking the last two set points and a 6-4 victory.

“It’s extremely good for my confidence to leave Bangkok with a gold medal,” said Aida, who jumped to joint first in the Indoor Archery World Cup rankings with the win.

Kang Hansol took third and Jeon Sungeun, who was junior world champion in 2013 and seeded top in Bangkok, finished fourth, followed by Park Sehui, Chang Hye Jin, Jo Seunghyeon and Jin Yun.