Taipei, April 14 (CNA) Taiwan captured a gold medal Saturday in the first Archery World Cup event of the year being held this week in Shanghai.
Kuo Cheng-wei and Tan Ya-ting beat Japanese rivals Hideki Kikuchi and Hay Hayakawa 149-144 to take gold in the mixed recurve team event. The recurve bow is the form of bow used at the Olympic Games.
The Kuo-Tan duo took an early 37-34 lead after each team had shot one round of four arrows and held onto it throughout the rest of the 16-arrow contest by averaging an impressive 9.3 points per arrow (with 10 the maximum).
Chinese Taipei Archery Association Secretary General Chiu Ping-kun said the gold medal was an ideal reward for the Taiwanese archers' hard work.
"Though the mixed is not an Olympic event, the gold medal has proven that we are strong in the sport," he said.
Taiwan's archery team failed to win any medals at the Beijing Olympic Games four years ago despite being highly ranked after winning several gold medals in World Cup series events preceding the Beijing event.
Chiu attributed the disappointing performance to a faulty training program that caused the archers to peak too far ahead of the Beijing Games.
The training program has been adjusted this year, Chiu said, and he hoped that it would yield better results at the London Olympics, slated for July 27-Aug. 12.
Two more World Cup tournaments, including the final Olympic qualifier in Ogden, Utah in June, will be held before the London Games.
Taiwanese archers have qualified to take part in the women's team and individual events and the men's individual event at the Olympics, and Taiwan's men are hoping to secure a spot in the Olympic team competition at the qualifying tournament in Ogden.
(By Lung Puo-an and Elizabeth Hsu)