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S. Korea's next great Olympic archer: 16-year-old prodigy Kim Je-deok Updated: 2021-02-05 07:58:04 KST

A perfect 10.
Whatever he sets his eyes on, Kim Je-deok leaves his mark.
And right now, the high school freshman is aiming for gold at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

"I dream of winning at least one individual gold medal each at the Olympics, the Asian Games and the World Archery Championships."

In a huge step toward that dream, Kim surprised everyone by finishing in first place at the second round of the Olympic trials back in October.

"If he performs well enough in the next rounds of the Olympic trials in March, Kim could become one of the youngest archers to ever make the Korean Olympic team."

"It's god-given talent. Je-deok's gifted If he makes the final squad, the boy has what it takes to sweep the men's individual event, the men's team event and the newly introduced mixed event, all three."

Top archers, like 2008 Olympic gold medalist Yun Ok-hee, say Kim could be the next big thing in Korean archery.

"He'll be in his prime for the next 20 years and I don't think winning the gold medal at the Olympics will be much of a challenge once he gets in A talent like Je-deok comes once in a hundred years. I'm so proud of him."

Kim says the way the Korea Archery Association runs the sport is the reason the country has enjoyed so much international success.

"There's no corruption in the system. Everyone shoots their arrows, one by one, under equal conditions and it's this fairness that has made Korean archery so strong."."

But the secret to his individual performance lies in his own, unwavering will to excel.

"When I shoot, I shoot for the 10. It's all about confidence, believing in myself."

It's this winning mentality that Korea's counting on this summer in Japan.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News, Yecheon.
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