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Blind archer posts first world record of London Olympics

Im Dong Hyun of Korea celebrates breaking the World Record during the Men's Individual Archery Ranking Round on Friday, July 27 in London, England.

Story highlights

  • South Korea's archery team break first world records of 2012 Games
  • Im Dong Hyun betters his own 72-arrow mark, while team record also tumbles
  • The 26-year-old is competing at the Games despite being legally blind
  • Dong Hyun won gold medals at both the Athens and Beijing Olympic Games

The first world records of the London 2012 Olympics have been set by a blind South Korean archer -- hours before Friday's much-anticipated opening ceremony was due to begin.

Im Dong Hyun is legally classified as blind and cannot see out of his right eye, but it did not stop the two-time gold medalist bettering his own leading 72-arrow score in the qualification competition at Lord's cricket ground in the British capital.

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The 26-year-old, who struggles to read a newspaper, scored 699, which put him top of the standings ahead of compatriots Kim Bubmin and Oh Jin Hyek.

The efforts of the trio also delivered a second world record, as South Korea registered a landmark combined total of 2,087 for the team event -- a discipline the Asian nation has won gold in at the last two Games.

The event at the home of English cricket was held behind closed doors, but it did not stop fans queuing in an attempt to gain entry to the stadium.

South Korea's archery ambitions

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Questions remain about opening ceremony

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"Tickets have not been advertised or sold by (Olympic organizers) LOCOG for the archery ranking event," read a statement from the venue. We have always made it clear that the preliminary rounds are not open for spectators.

"There are a number of unofficial websites claiming to sell tickets, we therefore advise people to be extremely cautious and vigilant when attempting to buy tickets and only purchase from an official source."

A non-ticketed event that people can attend is the cycling road race, which is a 250-kilometer trek from Box Hill in the English county of Surrey to the Buckingham Palace in the heart of London.

Spectators will be able to line certain areas of the route free of charge to cheer on British hopefuls such as Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and sprint star Mark Cavendish in Saturday's men's race, while the women compete on Sunday.

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