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Secrets behind S. Korea's Olympic gold medals in archery Updated: 2021-08-06 13:41:02 KST

Arrow after arrow hits the target at one of South Korea's archery training centers.
The country's archery team has won gold medals for nine Olympics in a row.
The coach Lee Sung-jin two-time Olympic Archery Gold Medalist says a fair selection competition is what has made such an impressive winning streak possible.

"Looking at 120 athletes in the selection, there is a fine line between one hundred of them. If the competition begins in September, the athletes have to keep their best condition until May or June. They need to try their best to be selected for the national team first."

Regardless of their experience, any athletes over 17 who can stay at their peak condition could become a member of the national Olympic team.
The selected archers need to hit a 122-centimeter target from 70 meters away
that's roughly SEVEN times the length of a standard city bus.

"For the athletes to stay calm even when under pressure psychological training is vital to help them prepare for any situation."

For some athletes having their own mental or physical routine helps them focus.

"In addition to getting professional advice from our coach, I always keep trying image training whenever I'm competing or practicing. I try to remember the image of having a good posture when I'm shooting."

The archers practice at baseball stadiums with loud crowds shouting, they practice in windy and humid weather and they even prepare for earthquakes.
The Korea Archery Association built an identical archery stadium in Jincheon National Training Center so that the athletes can get used to hearing announcements in Japanese, surrounded by spectators, and even hearing photographers' camera shutters.
Technological support from Hyundai Motor Group played a big role in helping the athletes reach peak performance.

"We provided a shooting machine that evaluates the arrowsan automatic scoring machinea vision-based device that measures heart rate an AI coaching system and customized bow grips using a 3D printer."

Virtual reality simulation was also introduced to help the athletes' psychological conditioning.
This year's summer Olympics might have only just ended but training for the next Olympics has already begun, as Team Korea aims for more gold medals at Paris 2024.
Choi Won-jong, Arirang News, Hongseong.
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