SPORTS

American archers 'respect' S. Koreans, but fear no one

By 신현희
  • Published : Aug 3, 2016 - 21:47
  • Updated : Aug 3, 2016 - 21:47

RIO DE JANEIRO (Yonhap) -- In South Korea's bid for an archery gold medal sweep at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, the U.S. men's team may just provide the stiffest challenge.

And the three members of this year's American team say, while they reserve respect for the South Koreans, they fear no one.

At the 2012 London Olympics, the Americans defeated the South Koreans in the semifinals of the men's team event, preventing their Asian rivals from winning their fourth straight gold. With two carryovers from that team -- Jake Kaminski and Brady Ellison -- the United States, coached by South Korean-born Lee Ki-sik, will look to take the upper hand again in Rio.

"This team is meshing probably better than any team I've been on," Kaminski said at a press conference in Rio on Tuesday. "We're not scared of anything."

Kaminski, Ellison and Jacob Wukie lost to Italy in the final, but Kaminski said he took solace from the fact that the Americans beat the South Korean team of Im Dong-hyun, Kim Bub-min and Oh Jin-hyek.

"Anybody that has followed archery will tell you that was the match to watch. That was actually the gold medal match right there and we made a statement," Kaminski, world No. 26, said. "Despite taking silver, we believe in our hearts that we won. Our potential is massive."

Ellison, ranked sixth in the world, said he'd like nothing more than a rematch with South Korea, which this year features world No.

1 Kim Woo-jin, No. 2 Ku Bon-chan and No. 8 Lee Seung-yun.

"The respect we have for each other is huge. We're two of the more powerful teams in this game," he said. "Anytime you have two heavy hitters on the field, there's a lot of respect. I really hope it comes down to us facing Korea again."

Zach Garrett is the Olympic debutante and also the highest-ranked American at No. 3. Ellison said the 21-year-old is "an incredible shooter" who adds to the scoring potential of the team and is peaking at the perfect time.

Garrett also talked about the respect he has for South Korea and how the two countries are pushing each other.

"I don't think we really fear anybody. We're going to go out and shoot our best," he said. "I know that the Korean men's team will shoot their best. We'll see which way it goes. I feel really confident with the two guys we have on the team, and I think we'll really do well together."