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August 21, 2017

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Records fall on Day 1 of Olympics

LONDON -- Big Ben chimed 40 times. The archers were on target with two world records at Lord's cricket ground. And the opening ceremony expected to feature real farm animals and former Beatle Paul McCartney was set to dazzle London's Olympic Park.

Finally, let the games begin.

Seven years after the British capital won the right to host the Olympics, a hazy and cloudy London celebrated the official start of the 30th version of the Summer Games.

After two days of soccer preliminaries outside London, the city held its first Olympic competition Friday — archery at the hallowed cricket ground. There was some confusion at the site when people mistakenly thought they could enter the free competition without a ticket.

There were no such problems on the pitch, where South Korean archers set the first two world records of London 2012.

Im Dong-hyun, who is legally blind, broke the 72-arrow record he had set in Turkey in May by three points with a score of 699, hours before the 2012 Games official opening ceremony.

Despite the success, Im was modest in his reaction.

"This is just the first round, so I will not get too excited by it," he said.

He combined with Kim Bub-min and Oh Jin-hyek, smashing the record for 216 arrows with a total 2,087. That was 18 better than the mark South Korea set in May.

Im, 26, won gold medals in the team event in both the Beijing and Athens Olympics. He has only 10 percent vision in his left eye, and 20 percent in his right.

He has said that when he looks at the targets, he sees colors with blurred lines between them. He does not wear glasses in competition, saying he relies on being able to distinguish between the +bright colors of the target.

Any spectators hoping to catch a glimpse of the action left angry and confused after being turned away from Lord's cricket ground where archery is being held. Preliminary rounds were listed as non-ticketed and several thousand spectators showed up at the venue expecting to get in for free.

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