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    PH team off to shaky start in London as archers misfire

    Jul 27, 2012
    Mark Javier and Rachel Anne Cabral finish at the lower half of the standings in the ranking stage of the archery competitions of the 2012 Olympiad in London. Reuben Terrado

    THIS was not the round that matters, but the results showed the two Team Philippines archers will most likely go home singing the blues in the 30th Olympic Games.

    In a performance that left their Korean coach shaking his head in disappointment, Mark Javier and Rachelle Cabral fared poorly in the ranking round on Friday and found themselves battling superior opponents in the head-to-head round- of- 32 action scheduled on Monday at Lord’s Cricket ground.

    The 31-year-old Javier, one of three two-time Olympians in the 11-member Philippine squad, finished 55th in a starting field of 64 and drew top-ranked American Brady Ellison as rival with 649 points in the 70-meter, 72-arrow competitions in London.

    Also a big letdown was Cabral, an Olympic rookie who wound up 48th in the 64-woman cast with a 627 total. She will meet Russian Ksenia Perova, a big gun in the sport who landed ninth with 659 points.

    It’s not the end of the world for the two Filipino archers, though. But if their showings in the round held to determine who plays who in the knockout round, their demise will just be a matter of time.

    “Bad game,” said Korean coach Chung Jaeyun, lighting a cigarette as Team Philippines chef de mission Manny Lopez and Philippine Olympic Committee chairman Monico Puentevilla approached him to inquire how Javier fared in the session marred by steady drizzle.

    “Masama ang nilaro niya (Javier),” said POC president Peping Cojuangco, who watched the morning session from beginning to end in the company of Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Richie Garcia and POC treasurer Steve Hontiveros.

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    On a day when a legally blind Korean set the first world record and helped his team establish another, Javier could not do anything right as he made only seven bulleyes and 22 10s in a round that saw him hit 326 points in the first half and 323 in the second.

    In a performance worth remembering, Im Dong-Hyun scored 699 points from 72 arrows to break his own record of 696 set last May in Turkey. Along with Kim Bubmin and Oh Jin-Hyek, he also helped his team register a 216-arrow total of 2,087, smashing the world mark also set in May by 18 points.

    Im, 26, is legally blind in his left eye with 20/200 vision. That means he needs to be 10 times closer to see an object than someone with perfect 20/20 vision. His right eye has 20/100 vision.

    Cabral did 318 in the first half but struggled in the second, scoring only 309 in a round marked only by four bullseyes and 17 10s.

    Two archers from Korea, the nation that gave the sport of bows and arrows to the world, finished 1-2 in the women’s ranking round as Ki Bo Bae and Lee Sung Jin carded identical 671 points.

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    Mark Javier and Rachel Anne Cabral finish at the lower half of the standings in the ranking stage of the archery competitions of the 2012 Olympiad in London. Reuben Terrado
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