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.