The favorites were in great shape in the Olympic men's archery event on Saturday. South Korea's Kim Woo-Jin, second in World Archery's power rankings and a two-time world champion, was on one side of the quarterfinal draw. U.S. archer Brady Ellison, the world champion, reigning bronze medalist and No. 1-ranked archer in the world, was waiting on the other side.
But before the two could face off in a classic archery final, they had to advance through the quarterfinals.
They did not.
Ellison lost 7-3 to Turkey's Mete Gazoz, and Kim lost a 6-4 decision to Chinese Taipei's Tanh Chih-Chun, leaving a semifinal bracket that included neither Ellison nor any archers from South Korea.
Instead, Gazoz defeated Italian archer Mauro Nespoli for the gold medal, and Furukawa Takaharu added to the host country's medal total with a win over Tanh in the bronze medal match.
Earlier in the day, Ellison defeated fellow American Jacob Wukie in the Round of 16.
Ellison nearly forced his match with Gazoz to a shoot-off. Through four sets, neither competitor had managed a score greater than 28. Ellison went 10-9-10 for a 29 in the fifth set, but Gazoz notched a perfect 30 for the 7-3 win. The U.S. archer missed a couple of opportunities to tie or win sets earlier, managing only 26 points when Gazoz shot a beatable 27.
In the final, neither archer managed a 30, but Gazoz had back-to-back 29s to seal the win.