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July 26, 2017

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Local archers bid adieu to London as Kuo falls short

The Chinese Taipei archery team officially bid farewell to the Olympics as "Big Bear" Kuo Cheng-wei (郭振維) fell short of his opponent Rick van der Ven of the Netherlands during the quarterfinals on Friday. The scores concluded in straight sets 27-24, 30-27 and 29-28, including three perfect 10s in the second set from van der Ven.

Kuo was the last male archer standing in the Chinese Taipei team who advanced to the men's individual quarterfinals. Others failed to advance, resulting in an early elimination, including Tan Ya-ting (譚雅婷) who fell to Italian Pia Lionetti 6-2 in the 1/8 eliminations round.

Big Bear seemed rattled by Ven's performance, after shutting out world No. 7 Markiyan Ivashko in the 1/8 eliminations round by three consecutive winning sets. Previously he had only shot nines and 10s on all but one of his nine arrows to win in straight sets 27-25, 28-26, 28-27.

Van der Ven had upset No. 2 Im Dong-hyun of South Korea, 7-1, in a previous round. He was clearly on fire that day, scattering the scoreboard with bulls-eyes and perfect 10s, with only two arrows landing outside the 9-point ring. Kuo performed slightly below van der Ven, with mostly nines and eights, shooting only two perfect 10s in nine arrows.

Scores came to a possible draw of 28-28 in the third set after van der Ven pierced his last arrow close to the 8-point ring. Judges clarified the shots with a magnifying glass and ruled the arrow a 9-point shot, handing the set, win and match to the Dutchman.

In an individual match, archers are granted three arrows each set, with 2 points granted to the winning archer and 1 point for a draw. The first to reach 6 points wins the entire match. If a match is tied, a single-arrow shoot-off is held and the nearest to the center of the target wins.

Kuo's exit marked the end of all archery competitions for the Chinese Taipei team. The men's team fell to an early elimination at the round of 16 against Italy, who won the gold medal. The women's team advanced a little further before falling to Russia in the quarterfinals. All individual archers fell short of the quarterfinals, except for Kuo, who advanced after upsetting Markiyan Ivashko.

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