Legally blind archer sets Games' first world records

AFP News
Im is legally blind
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South Korea's Im Dong-Hyun celebrates breaking his own 72-arrow world record in the archery ranking round with a score of 699 at the Lord's Cricket Ground in London on July 27. Legally-blind Im scored 699 points from 72 arrows to beat his own record of 696 set in May this year

Legally blind archer Im Dong-Hyun set the first world record of the London Olympics on Friday and then added another as South Korea broke the team record.

In the men's preliminary round, held at the Lord's cricket ground, Im scored 699 points from 72 arrows to beat his own record of 696 set in May this year.

Along with Kim Bubmin and Oh Jin-Hyek he also helped register a 216-arrow total of 2,087 -- smashing the world record also set in Turkey in May by 18 points.

The 26-year-old Im from Chungbuk 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.

He won team gold at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics to add to his four world titles and four Asian Games gold medals.

Despite his records, Im wasn't getting carried away, preferring to concentrate on the push for a gold medal when the competition resumes on Saturday.

"This is just the first round so I will not get too excited by it," he said.

South Korea coach Jang Young-Sool also warned his team against complacency ahead of the medals clash.

"We will have a day of rest now and prepare for tomorrow," said Jang.

Jang's fellow coach Oh Seon-Tek praised the performance of Kim Bubmin who had struggled in practice, but rasied his game on Friday.

"It was a surprise that Kim had done so great in the first half," said Oh.

"It was his first Olympics shooting so I expected some nervous breakdowns but he did a fantastic job for breaking his personal record.

"He didn't even do that good on the practice. I think the training on mind controls have worked with Kim."