LONDON – Ren Hayakawa hit a 10 with the last arrow of her Japan team as the country’s women archers claimed their first Olympic team medal by edging Russia in the bronze medal match at the London Games on Sunday.
Hayakawa, Kaori Kawanaka and Miki Kanie rallied past Russia’s Ksenia Perova, Inna Stepanova and Kristina Timofeeva 209-207 at Lord’s Cricket Ground. No Japan men’s or women’s team had ever medaled in Olympic archery.
“I’m happy we made history,” said South Korean-born Hayakawa, winner of team silver at the 2009 world championships.
“I’m delighted to have won the medal. I want to thank all the people who have cheered and supported us until now,” added the 20-year-old, who has less than six years in archery under her belt.
South Korea’s Ki Bo Bae, Lee Sung Jin and Choi Hyeon Ju won their country’s seventh consecutive gold in the event after edging out China 210-109 in the final. The trio had beaten Japan 221-206 to reach the gold medal match.
In the match for third place, Japan staged a late comeback against Russia, rallying to equal the score at 181-181 with each side down to its last three arrows in the final fourth round.