Asian players have won three golds in these Games and are on their way to repeat the full season of Rio Games. “Their budget is 14 million. Ours, 400,000 euros”, he says in the Spanish Federation.
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“Allow me an insight to explain this. According to its own technicians, South Korea’s budget for archery is about 14 million. Ours is 400,000 euros,” he calculates. Ruban Montes, sports director of the Spanish Archery Federation, but he hasn’t just clarified the question: is that all? Wealth? Could a lot of money eliminate what we love most about the game, namely its indeterminacy?
Let’s get to the facts: South Korea has won three golds in contention at these Tokyo Games, the last in the men’s teams this Monday, and is well on its way to the full number of victories already achieved at the 2016 Olympic Games. No shooter seems to be able to break the streak and, as they say, archery is generally open to surprises. If we go back further, in the women’s section they haven’t lost to teams since 1988 and have missed out on individual wins only once since 1984. The Basketball Dream Team doesn’t even hold such a record.
The bow and arrow are elements of the national sport in the Asian country, it is undoubtedly, but … how have they achieved such overwhelming dominance? “They have a tradition that doesn’t exist anywhere else. You have to keep in mind that there, all the elementary schools, all the high schools, and all the universities, there’s an archery team. And when I say that, I mean everyone, with exceptions.” Without them the pool of goalkeepers is inexhaustible and they have a very powerful structure, with a professional league, with professional clubs, with an average salary of 100,000 euros per year. The best are practically millionaires.
Your Federation budget is just the icing on the cake. And it’s not that money buys everything, but it allows shooters to dedicate themselves exclusively to training, to get the best facilities… An example, for these games they played the Olympics in Sail. Rebuilt the venue, they built a similar one in Tokyo. To get used to the environment”, analyzes Montes, who recalls that, yes, Koreans fell in several categories at the last World Cup. Boys are not invincible. The girls, who have been winning gold without interruption since 1988, are well…”, admits the technician, who analyzes the Asian launch and concludes that they didn’t do anything different. They discovered the trick. No, they haven’t invented anything.
“Indeed, for us, and for kissik lee, former Korean coach and now coach of the United States, South Korea does not use the most efficient technique if analyzing the biomechanics of shots. But they have hundreds of professional archers who can train for hours and hours, competing against high-level rivals every week, and that gives them an advantage that’s hard to reverse”, concludes Montes, The one who stays in the last contest, hopefully, will enjoy. Spanish.
This Tuesday -if the typhoon allows it- Daniel Castro Start in a men’s singles draw with a potential Korean opponent, kim woo-jinIf he can reach the quarter finals. He would be very, really hard to beat, because yes, a lot of money can destroy what we love most about the game, i.e. its uncertainty.