The nation is currently ranked third in the world, behind Italy and Mexico. But this number is misleading. Korea is ranked outside of the top spot due to inactivity on the international stage, having chosen to forego the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit post-pandemic in favour of preparing for the Olympics at home.
This group is talented but lacks competition practice. It’s a stark contrast from the line-up for Rio, five years ago, which featured reigning individual and team Olympic Champion Ki Bo Bae.
In fact, these Games mark the first since 1996 at which Korea has fielded a completely rookie women’s team.
“We watched the performance of past Olympians and discussed it, trying to become better archers,” said An San. “I feel a little tense, but I’ve tried my best to be ready.”
Despite the caveats, the youth and the debutant nature of the squad at the Games, Korea remains favourite to take its ninth consecutive women’s team gold medal at the Olympics.
There are, however, legitimate contenders for an upset.