What to know: First day of archery competition

With the ranking round completed and all the seeds finalized, it’s time to look ahead to the men’s team competition and the first day of elimination.

A team score of 2057 in the preliminary round puts South Korea at the one-seed, with the United States at No. 2 with a score of 2024. Italy – with 2007 – comes in at the 3-seed, followed by Australia, France and China. 

After being upset by the United States in the semifinal round in London in 2012, South Korea comes into Rio as the early favorites for team gold, led by reigning individual world champion Kim Woo-jin – joined by teammates Ku Bon-chan and Lee Seung-yun – who posted a new Olympic and world record of 700 in the ranking round. Until 2012, South Korea had won four straight gold medals in the team competition, beginning in Sydney in 2000. Their journey to the top of the podium won’t be easy, though, with Italy poised for a gold medal run, as well.

The defending Olympic champions are led by two-time medalist, 28-year-old Mauro “the Nesp” Nespoli. Although gold in London was unexpected, the Italian team has been performing well since, winning silver at the 2015 World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Netherlands, anchored by Sjef van den Bag and Rick van der Ven, which came in sixth at the World Championships in 2015, also has podium potential, with Chinese Taipei – the bronze medalist at the World Championships –  appearing to be a contender too. 

With Brady Ellison and Jake Kaminski returning to the Olympics after their silver medal campaign in 2012, the United States is also well positioned for a trip to the podium. They are joined by 21-year-old Zach Garrett, who, since winning his first medal in a major international competition in 2015, has risen through the world standings, even being ranked as high as third. 

Ellison, who hails from Payson, Arizona, and was the first recurve archer ever to win three World Cup final titles, told USA Today, “”I think we had a great team in London, and we have a team with a lot more ability now than we did then.”

But in order to find themselves at the top of the archery world, the American team will have to overcome their periodic inconsistency.

As of now, predictions for medals in the team competition stand as such:

1. South Korea

2. Italy

3. United States