Parks sets mark in Olympic debut

Updated: August 12, 2004, 1:45 PM ET
Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece -- South Korean Park Sung-hyun set an individual world record of 682 points Thursday during the ranking round of the Olympic archery competition. Park broke the 72-arrow mark of 679, set in May by Italian Natalia Valeeva.

The team of Park, Lee Sung-jin and Yun Mi-jin also set a world record of 2,030 for the 216-arrow ranking round. The mark of 1,994 also was set by South Korea, at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Yun was a member of that team.

Lee was second in the competition with 675, and Yun was third with 673.

Later, in the men's competition, South Korea's Im Dong-hyun set a 72-arrow world record with a score of 687. He broke the record of 685 set by countryman Shim Young-sung in 1995.

Jennifer Nichols of Cheyenne, Wyo., was the top American woman, finishing 19th with 638. Stephanie White-Arnold of Portland, Ind., was 36th with 623. Janet Dykman of El Monte, Calif., was 44th.

For the U.S. men, Butch Johnson (Woodstock, Conn.), who won a bronze medal in the team competition in Sydney in 2000, placed 16th with a score of 660. Vic Wunderle (Mason City, Ill.) was 43rd with 639 and John Magera (Carterville, Ill.) was 47th with 637.

The U.S. men's team shot a total score of 1,936 to put them in 11th place for team competition on August 21. The U.S. women were ranked ninth after shooting 1,880.

In the ranking round, each athlete shoots 72 arrows from a distance of 70 meters. The round determines the seeding for the single-elimination individual tournament, which for the women starts Sunday at Panathinaiko Stadium. It also determines seeding for the team events.

The archery competition will be the first Olympic event at Panathinaiko, site of the 1896 Games. But the preliminary round is being held at an air force base.

The South Koreans dominate archery, having won every Olympic individual women's gold medal since 1984, including a sweep of the medals in 2000.

Park, who finished second at the 2003 world championships, is competing in her first Olympics. Im, just 18 years old, also placed second at the 2003 worlds.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press