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Visually Impaired South Korean Archer Breaks Two Olympic World Records

July 27, 2012

London 2012 has not had long to wait for its first world records, with the South Korean archery team setting two new landmarks at Lord’s.

Im Dong-hyun, who is visually impaired, set an individual record in Friday’s ranking round. He also joined forces with Kim Bubmin and Oh Jin-hyek to record a new best in the team event.

South Korea’s archery team is regarded as the best in the world.

They have won 16 gold medals since the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

Dong-hyun, who won team golds at the past two Games, broke his own 72-arrow mark of 696 by three points.

Dong-hyun’s eyesight

  • In tests of his vision Im Dong-Hyun scored 20/100 and 20/200 in his right and left eyes respectively
  • 20/200 means when you stand 20ft from an object you see what someone with 20/20 vision sees at 200ft
  • His right eye is better but at 20ft he sees what someone with perfect sight sees at 100ft
  • He chooses not to improve his sight with glasses or contact lenses as he has become accustomed to seeing the target this way

He can barely read the big letters at the top of an optician’ s chart, aiming at a “yellow blob” in the target 70 metres away.

Alongside Bubmin and Jin-hyek, Dong-hyun helped set a 216-arrow total of 2,087, eclipsing the previous world record by 18 points.

Lord’s played host to the men’s individual ranking round on Friday morning and will hold the men’s team gold medal match on Saturday.

South Korea’s men are the reigning world champions and have won the Olympic team title four times.

Meanwhile, spectators trying to watch the archery were turned away amid confusion over ticketing.

The London 2012 website advertised the event’s preliminary rounds as “unticketed”, which some people interpreted as open to the public.

But Olympic organisers said that they had always made it clear preliminary rounds were not open to spectators.

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