LONDON, England (AP) — Legally blind archer Im Dong-hyun set the first world record of the London Olympics, breaking his own record in the 72-arrow mark and helping South Korea set a team record during yesterday’s ranking round. Im 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. Team coach Jang Young-sool said the team would rest up for the remainder of the day and prepare for Saturday.
Im, 26, won gold medals in the team event in both the Beijing and Athens Olympics. He has only 10 per cent vision in his left eye, and 20 per cent in his right, meaning he is considered legally blind.
He has said that when he looks at the targets, he sees colours with blurred lines between them. He does not wear glasses in competition, saying he relies on being able to distinguish between the bright colours of the target.
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.
A spokeswoman for the London Games organising committee said tickets were not advertised or sold for the qualifying events, and “we have always made it clear” that the early competitions were not open for spectators.