秣馬厲兵.進軍奧運

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1988 / 7月

文‧林麗雪 圖‧陳品君


漢城奧運聖火點燃的時間已迫在眉睫。我國準備參賽的代表團員們,正在驕陽熱情的左營訓練中心作臨陣前的衝刺。

國人先天體型和整體運動環境比外國尚差一籌,但準備赴賽的運動員,莫不希望在最後關頭,能將身心、體能狀況調整至最佳的地步。因為他們知道,奧運得獎可以光耀國家,也可肯定自我。

為了將這些國手目前的狀況介紹給讀者,本刊編輯走訪左訓中心,報導各運動員最後衝刺的過程。


今年漢城奧運,棒球仍被列為表演項目。就目前各國實力評估,加上四年前洛杉磯奧運中華隊曾取得第三名,我國在這項目中仍有濃厚的得標希望,也是國人眾所寄望的焦點項目。

不許再有遺憾

「我不要球隊再有近七年來,總是帶著『就差那麼一點點』的遺憾回來」,中華棒球代表隊總教練林家祥目光閃閃地說:「本屆奧運,我要中華隊是頭『猛獅』。」

他舉去年八月在日本舉行的亞洲盃為例,中華隊雖然捧回等待了卅四年的冠軍杯,但是在頒獎閉幕時,隊員卻表情凝重,人人默默不語,教練們更是眉頭緊蹙。

原因在於中華隊當時是「有冠軍之名而無冠軍之樂」。他們在連勝日、韓強敵後,卻在閉幕典禮之前,敗給實力略遜一籌的澳洲隊。

「會輸球,是因為球員精神鬆懈,打心眼婸斯蠵D洲隊」,當時也任總教頭的林家祥猶記慘痛經驗。所以他在開訓時強調,中華隊必須朝精神、鬥志及技術細節來訓練。「要武裝起精神,絕不再有『可惜』的情況發生」,他說。

林家祥指出,雖然「超級強隊」古巴不參加八八年奧運,但是宿敵韓、日、美、波多黎各等隊,也都不是簡單的角色,要摘金牌並非易事。

開訓當天,中華棒協理事長唐盼盼與球員席地而坐,告訴大夥:「要拼,才會贏!」當時,士氣高昂,人人勢在必得。

為了奪標,今年的集訓有了一套完整的計畫。以去年國慶杯、今年中正杯、甲組聯賽為選拔標準,在四月初,由四名教練和選拔委員,選出廿名球員組成中華隊。四月十七日,大隊揮軍南下左營,展開近四個月的集訓期。

上溪頭、下墾丁

為了徹底改造球員的「體質」,棒協做了兩處的移地訓練,一在風光明媚的溪頭;另外則在南台灣的墾丁渡假勝地。

景緻雖美,但球員卻也無暇欣賞,因為溪頭的「清塵」訓練,主要在「收心」及「養氣」。一方面去俗慮;一方面認清拿下奧運金牌的總目標,是以心理建設為主。

確立「眾志一心」之後,體能訓練更是免不了。迎著晨曦,在環繞溪頭實驗林的道路上練體能,心情至少會稍覺輕鬆、壓力不會太大。

第二次的移地訓練是在墾丁。天氣熱不說,還得在沙灘上練速度、打擊、肌力、耐力,一天下來,往往筋疲力盡。

不過教練團們也知道「繃太緊的弦容易斷」,於是史無前例的為球員們安排一次「全家福」團聚活動。

棒協特別雇了遊覽車,載運球員們的妻子兒女或父兄,南下墾丁與球員們共渡一個輕鬆的周末,讓情緒鬆懈一些,以便留下餘力做最後的衝刺。

上山、下海之後,再回左訓中心,可就嘗到更多磨練的滋味了。

洗壞六台洗衣機

在球場上,時常可聞林總教頭威嚴的喊叫聲,「二個人作肌力、耐力、爆發力測試,用不著一個多小時吧!」投手郭建成、捕手洪一中低頭快步衝出運動科學儀器室,回到棒球場。

「誰准你今天六點半不用參加晨操?」王光輝低頭答說去療傷、作復健。「六點半,鬼給你復健嗎?」林家祥毫不留情地拋回一句話。結果是很多球員苦笑著說:「被操練得不像人」。

要操、練體能,二百公尺間歇跑是最佳方法。

專責體能訓練的林敏政教練定下的劑方是,二百公尺間歇跑。用廿八秒跑二百公尺,然後回頭是慢走二分鐘,這樣連續跑八次。一些知曉這「魔鬼訓練」厲害的球員,最先的反應是「教練我快受傷了」,看看是否能免除苦災,得到的答案是一律不准。

「剛開始的十幾天內,人人到了第六趟,就天昏地轉,頭昏目眩、氣喘、嘔吐全來了,但是八趟就是八趟,一點也不能摸魚」,林敏政說:「最後二次是黑天黑地的跑完的。」

「如今八趟算得了什麼?跑完還能吹口哨、唱歌哪!」多數球員的體能已判若兩人。

「要增進體能和技術的不二法門就是苦練,球員吃得苦,進步看得到」,林家祥數度執掌中華隊兵符有感而發。

由一件事實可看出練習的成果:從四月十七日到六月十日,在短短的五十五天內,棒球隊的廿三位彪形大漢,洗壞了六台洗衣機;林敏政教練翻著球員的體能記錄表,神采奕奕地說:「確實進步了許多!」

殘壘少,贏的希望才濃

除體能之外,難的是棒球觀念的改變。由於選手在緊要關頭,常存有長打急攻的念頭,所以中華隊在國際賽中,通常是留下殘壘最多的隊伍。

經常參與四級國家棒球代表隊訓練工作的林敏政也說:「中華成棒代表隊的棒球觀念,還是有點粗枝大葉。」

我們社會要看明星球員,從少棒一路入選上來的成棒國手,在打擊的時候,常想最好一棒就是全壘打。「但是真正的棒球比賽是穩守穩攻,一味地要長打取分,是兵家大忌」,林敏政說。

「集訓的滋味是身體不斷受苦痛的折磨」,隊長李居明是隊上最年長的球員,在十九年的棒球生涯,他已不記得自己總共當了多少次的國手、集訓多少回。

在他觀察中,這次中華隊老手雖少,但是球員心理卻很成熟。他舉例,以往隊友消除集訓苦悶的良方,往往是飯後聚餐喝點酒,如今卻由喝茶、寫字、唱歌來取代,球員涵養功夫愈來愈好,彼此也就越能沉潛地相互討論球技、人生觀。

面對奧運日、韓、美等五、五波的球賽,林家祥教練表示,誰也不能斷定金牌將落誰家。不過夢想是否成真,未來的七、八十天,誰下的苦功最多,誰就離金牌之路更近。

本屆奧運除了棒球外,跆拳道是我國代表隊另一可能奪標的競技項目。因為它依體重分級比賽,與高大的西方人相較,身材較矮的東方人,可得立足點平等的比賽機會。

二千四百多公斤的汗水

「二年多來,我在左訓中心流掉的汗水超過二千四百多公斤」,女國手白允瑤,這位曾在今年亞洲盃、去年世界盃跆拳道比賽,得到第二量級冠軍的國手說。而這些汗水最終的流向,則是取回今年奧運金牌。

二千四百多公斤的汗水相當於四十八個白允瑤的體重,可見跆拳道訓練份量之重。參與選訓的選手,每天在三次練習前後,都要依例秤體重,結果平均每人一天流失四公斤到五公斤水分,只得利用餐飲儘速補充。

為了奧運最後階段的衝刺,中華奧會在五月底,決定七位選手名單(五女二男),分別是白允瑤、陳君鳳、童雅琳、陳怡安、秦玉芳、吳聰哲、黃耀漢,平均年齡不到廿歲。「有些國手的國際比賽經驗雖少,但是體能好、鬥志高」,負責訓練工作的韓國籍教練韓裕根語氣鏗鏘:「奪標希望濃厚。」

評估實力不能憑空杜撰,近幾年來中華隊參加國際賽的紀錄是佐證。他們陸續「踢」出了六面世界金牌和六面亞洲金牌,成績居於我國參加一九八八年奧運十二個重點項目之冠。

能否得獎,繫乎一己

如同柔道之於日本人,跆拳道被形容為韓國人的「國技」。依照國際奧林匹克委員會的規定,奧運主辦國有權利增列某些項目,做為正式比賽之外的表演賽,因此韓國就理直氣壯地列入他們拿手的跆拳道。

今年奧運跆拳道表演賽約有廿五個國家、一百廿多名好手,角逐男女各八個量級的十六面金牌。金牌數量多,就看有沒有實力爭取。

白允瑤一向被韓隊列為主要對手,國內體育界、大眾傳播媒體一致看好她「能拿金牌」,白允瑤卻看得開:「該不該我拿?自己最清楚。」

國人寄望殷切,不免給這群年輕選手帶來壓力。

「奧運金牌是我最大的夢想」,纖細白淨的秦玉芳打的是第一級,乍看之下更像是體操選手。她的動作細膩漂亮,三百六十度迴旋踢是其拿手好戲。她六月初才從省立台中體專畢業,還不及回家,就束裝赴左營集訓。白天練得筋疲力竭,連夜媞☆ㄓl都是如何與人對打拆招。

再怎麼苦練、流血、流汗,還是不能「保證」可得獎牌。臨場經驗、氣勢,常是勝負的關鍵。

氣盛力悍,制敵機先

「臨陣對打,最重要的是讓對手知道『痛』,而自己要能『忍痛』」,一百七十五公分的陳怡安,身高是東方女選手中少見的。她說:「常常一場比賽下來,雖然是贏了,卻贏得很辛苦,滿身瘀青腫痛。」

除了能「忍痛」之外,雙方實力如在伯仲之間,氣盛的一方勝算就大。白允瑤以多次參加國際比賽的經驗為例,我們的選手相較於韓國、歐美的潑辣,就顯得「溫馴」許多,常常還沒開打,就被對方的「臉色」懾住了。

如何以氣克住敵手?頭髮削得薄短、動作乾淨俐落的童雅琳說:「見『機』行動,她兇,你要比她更兇。」

現代的錄影設備,使各國選手的招式、戰術,常被對手的智囊團錄影觀察,用來判定對手弱點和定招取勝。

國內好手的比賽實況,更經常被韓、美等隊錄影。由於白允瑤是最惹他們頭痛的人,她的動作自然最惹人注意,但一位韓國教練曾在今年尼泊爾亞洲盃後,向我國教練抱怨:「我們白看白允瑤的錄影帶了,在世界盃她以主動後踢得分,為什麼在亞洲盃採取被動攻勢呢?」

「沒有習慣性的攻守秩序是我的長處」,白允瑤有點得意地說,如果只靠一項專長,就很容易被抓到破綻。其實她能說這話,「是因為她基本動作紮實,前後踢、迴旋踢、正拳、下壓腿都有一套」,助理教練鍾登懋指出。

獎牌是競技運動的最終目標

有人認為,跆拳道只是表演賽,而非正式比賽,能不能得獎並不那麼重要。

不過,對於苦練中的國手們,金牌的意義自有不同。

黃耀漢本來體重有五十五公斤,屬於第二量級的選手,但是國際跆拳協會只給我國男選手第一、六量級的參賽機會。志在參加奧運,卻資格不符的黃耀漢在短短一個星期內,減了五公斤。他參加選拔賽,連續擊敗數位強手,才獲得奧運參賽權,「如果以後跆拳道不再被列為表演賽,或不被認可為正式比賽,我如果得了這次奧運的第二級金牌,不就成為全世界唯一的一面嗎?」他說。

正中黃心——滿分,是射箭運動的最高境界,更是奪標的基礎。若能凝神定氣地把握穩、準這兩項要求,獎牌想必可信手捻來,可是想達此爐火純青的地步,卻極度困難。

想想看,在幾十公尺外要射中直徑不到五公分的最內圈「黃心」,還得考慮風速、風向、光線、弓和箭的品質。由此可知,想要命中靶心還真不容易。

最大的對手是自我

射箭有點類似高爾夫和體操等運動,是自己和自己比賽。從瞄準、拉弓、放箭到中靶的過程,「完全存乎一心」為參加奧運而暫棄建材生意的國手顏滿松認為,比賽時最不易克服的難關就是「自己」。

要達到沈穩境界需要時間修養。年紀最輕的奧運國手賴芳美談到,去年澳洲世界杯的經驗,她形容是從「天堂」墜入「地獄」。「剛開始卅公尺第一局的三枝箭,暫居第一」,但是她稍一分神,報應就來了——第二局只得十分,掉到了最後一名。

除了要沉得住氣,對於外來的干擾,像熱情觀眾的歡呼、照相機的潰擱n、突然斷弦等,也要能應變得當。

前年在高雄楠梓舉行的射箭賽,當時廿二歲的邱炳坤就曾因為攝影記者快門的微響,讓「快煮熟的鴨子」——破亞運紀錄的廿萬元「飛」了,「只能怪自己修養不好」,他說。

經過長期磨練,今年六月十六日,邱炳坤表現判若兩人。他在李登輝總統面前,也不管旁邊虎視眈眈的卅餘架照相機,露了一手百步穿楊的功夫——正中黃心;「沒有虛長二歲」,他有感而發。

東方選手的奪標良機

一九七二年德國慕尼黑奧運,首度將射箭列入正式比賽項目,早期多是美、蘇、西德等國雄霸。從一九七九年韓國女將金珍浩射下世界盃金牌後,東方人才在這項較少受體型影響的競賽中,逐漸嶄露頭角。

去年,邱炳坤、劉碧瑜、秦秋月,都創出單項全局一千三百分以上的佳績,而有接近世界級水準的實力。

射手「準頭」夠,在今年奧運才有與人爭牌的機會。

國際射箭協會對於參加一九八八年奧運射箭賽的規定是,每個國家限派三男三女,男女射手的資格是單局全項要超過一千一百分。不過,中華奧會的標準卻更「嚴苛」——男的高出一百五十二分、女的是一百四十五分。

今年初,國內一百多名射手連續舉行三次選拔賽。五月,代表隊名單底定:邱炳坤、胡培文、顏滿松、劉碧瑜、秦秋月、賴芳美等六人。他們都是第一次參加奧運會,其中邱炳坤、劉碧瑜分別是一三○二、一三一五分的單局全項全國紀錄保持人;秦秋月是我國第一位超過一千三百分的選手;胡培文是卅四歲才摸箭的「老」新人;賴芳美今年剛從高職畢業,年紀最輕。

相較於韓國從二千多名朝九晚五的「半職業」好手中,精挑出六人,我們的「僧」不免太少,林圭璋教練對「六虎將」有信心。

女子團體出線希望濃厚

他分析子弟兵奪標的可能時指出,以今年元月在印度舉行的亞洲盃錦標賽為例,我國代表選手團體成績不錯,邱炳坤、顏滿松、謝福鑫三人以七四五一分,獲得男子團體銀牌,僅次於南韓;劉碧瑜、賴芳美、秦秋月三女將則以七五七七分,奪得女子團體銅牌,次於南韓、中國大陸。

雖然在亞洲盃的團體名次男優於女,但是歐美各國的男子組實力極強,我們佔不到便宜;然而,亞洲女射手的功夫在世界上佔有一席之地,南韓女將金水寧就是目前多項世界紀錄保持人。我國實力與南韓、中國大陸、美國相差不遠。「女子團體值得一拚,有得牌的希望」,他說。

新制度為個人賽帶來生機

雖然個人得牌較難,不過今年奧運射箭個人賽修改規則,首次採行晉級制,給平均射齡不到六年的我國選手帶來一線希望。

過去奧運會,是以四天的二百八十八枝箭,來決定個人賽的名次,拿牌得有真功夫和體力、耐力。而晉級制是一天一天地淘汰,想拿牌者,若能從預賽到決賽連過「五關」,即可在最後八強的卅六枝箭決賽中,一決高下。

新的晉級制「有時得靠運氣,新手或許能佔優勢」,在去年世界盃比賽中,曾入圍最後十八名複賽的劉碧瑜,提到當時的一位西德黑馬:「她的實力泛泛,卻能擊敗多位頂尖好手,得到了銅牌。」

對實力並非頂尖,被列入二級隊伍的我國選手來說,若能嫻熟晉級賽制的賽程,學會步步為營的技巧,個人拿牌或仍有望。

〔圖片說明〕

P.117

一九八八年漢城奧運會將於九月十七日開幕。圖左前側建築物是舉行棒球賽的蠶室運動場。(漢城奧運會提供)

P.118

中華成棒代表隊球員分成攻、守兩方,進行夾殺、刺殺等演練。

P.119

他們倆在玩接球遊戲?不,這是加強柔軟度的訓練。(鄭元慶攝)

P.119

長達四個多月的集訓期,為避免球員感到單調,教練團特別在晨操堙A安排又蹦又跳的韻律操。

P.120

黃耀漢奮力飛身一踢——正中目標。

P.121

跆拳道隊的五位悍將(自左而右):黃耀漢、童雅琳、白允瑤、陳怡安、梁玉芳。

P.121

跆拳道是項激烈的運動,不論是訓練或比賽,事前都要有足夠的熱身,才能避免運動傷害。

P.122

一把合手的弓箭,才能使射箭手比賽時得心應手。(鄭元慶攝)

P.123

中華射箭代表隊「六虎將」英姿煥發,自左而右:顏滿松、邱炳坤、秦秋月、胡培文、賴芳美、劉碧瑜。

P.123

正中最內圈黃心,可得滿分十分,這是每位射箭手最終的目標。(鐘永和攝)

相關文章

近期文章

EN

Gearing Up for the Olympics

Sophia Lin /photos courtesy of P.J. Chen /tr. by Peter Eberly

The moment when the sacred flame will be lit to start the Seoul Olympic Games is rapidly approaching, and the R.O.C. Olympic contingent, under the hot sun at the Tsoying Sports Training Center in southern Taiwan, is making its "sprint to the finish."

Chinese people may still be at a disadvantage compared to Westerners in their physical build and athletic environment, but the R.O.C. athletes preparing to compete in the Seoul Olympics all hope that at the final juncture they can tune their physical and mental capabilities to the highest pitch. They know that by winning an Olympic medal they can earn recognition and affirmation for their country as well as for themselves. Sinorama visited the Tsoying training center in order to report on the state of the R.O.C.'s teams in various events and the final preparations being made by the athletes.


Even though it's still classified as an exhibition event, baseball is the focus of high hopes by the Chinese public at this year's Olympic Games. That's because the R.O.C. team, judged by its third-place finish at the Los Angeles Olympics four years ago and the current strength of the other countries' squads, possesses a good chance of coming up with a medal.

"I don't want the baseball team to go through seven years of regretting how close they came," the team's manager, Lin Chia-hsiang, says with eyes flashing. "I want the R.O.C. team in this year's Olympics to be fierce as lions."

As a cautionary example he mentioned the Asian Cup series held last August in Japan. Even though the R.O.C. team finally recaptured the championship cup that it had been waiting 34 years to win back, the coaches were frowning at the closing awards ceremony and the players were silent and subdued.

The reason for their consternation was that, after beating tough rivals Japan and South Korea, the team had lost to a weak Australian squad just before the ceremony.

"We blew it because we let up and took the Australians too lightly," says Lin, who was also manager at the time, recalling a painful experience. So when he opened training camp this year he stressed that the team must work on sharpening its fighting spirit as well as on details of technique.

Even though the superpower Cuban squad won't be taking part in the 1988 games, the R.O.C.'s old foes Korea, Japan, the U.S., and Puerto Rico are no slouches and capturing the gold will be a tough assignment.

On the opening day of training P.P. Tang, director of the R.O.C. Amateur Baseball Association, sat down with the players and told them, "If you want to win, you've got to work!" Everybody's spirits were soaring and victory seemed just around the corner.

A comprehensive training program got under way earlier this year in the drive to win a medal. The twenty players that make up the team were selected in early April, and they gathered in Tsoying on April 17th to begin an unprecedented four months of preparation.

The training has been rigorous, and the results are readily apparent. Smiling, manager Lin flips through records of his players' physical abilities and answers a reporter's question this way: "Indeed they have made a lot of improvement!"

It hasn't been easy. "Training means putting your body through constant pain," says team captain Lee Chu-ming, the oldest player on the squad, who no longer remembers how many times he has trained for a national team during his nineteen-year career. In his observation, although there are few older veterans on this year's team, the players are more mature mentally. As an example, he says that in the past many players used to get together and drink a little after training to relieve boredom, but this year they have more self-discipline: they just sip tea, sing songs, practice calligraphy, go fishing, or talk about baseball techniques or life in general.

With games against Japan, Korea and the U.S. certain to be close, manager Lin concludes, no one can say for sure how the medals will fall. But whether or not their dreams become reality, whoever works hardest over the next seventy or eighty days will have the shortest road to the gold.

Besides baseball, taekwondo is another event in which the R.O.C. team has a good chance of winning a medal at this year's Olympics, partly because the competition is divided into weight classes where Orientals have a chance to compete on a more equal footing with Westerners, who are usually bigger and taller.

"Over the past two years or so at the Tsoying Training Center, I've lost over 2,400 kilos in sweat," says Pai Yun-yao, who last year won championships at both the Asia Cup and World Cup taekwondo competitions in the women's second weight division.

The final goal of her hard work is to capture an Olympic gold medal.

The R.O.C. Olympic Committee selected a roster of seven athletes to participate in the taekwondo competition. The women are Pai Yun-yao, Ch'en Chun-feng, T'ung Ya-lin, Ch'en Yi-an, and Chin Yu-fang, and the men are Wu Ts'ung-che and Huang Yao-han. Their average age is less than twenty. "Although some of them aren't very experienced in international competition, they've all got good physiques and high spirits," says Han Yu-ken, a coach from Korea who is training the team for five months. "And they've got a good chance of winning medals."

He has good grounds for his evaluation, as the team's record in international competition over the past few years testifies. They've fought their way to six World and six Asian gold medals, putting them right at the top of the country's twelve main events at the 1988 Olympics.

In the taekwondo competition at this year's Olympics, more than 120 athletes from around 25 countries will compete for sixteen gold medals in eight men's and eight women's classes. So there are a lot of medals to go around, if you have the strength to win one.

Pai Yun-yao has long been viewed as a favorite for a gold medal by the media and the local sports world. But she's philosophical about her chances. "Can I take it? I'm the only one who can say for sure."

The ardent expectations of the public have unavoidably put the athletes under a lot of pressure.

"An Olympic gold medal is my greatest dream," says Chin Yu-fang, who competes in the first weight class and, slightly built and fair-skinned, looks at first glance more like a gymnast. Her specialty is the revolving 360-degree kick. She graduated from the Taichung Provincial Athletic College at the beginning of June and packed her bags for the Tsoying training camp without even having time to go home. She trains herself to exhaustion during the day and stays awake at night thinking of how to best her opponents.

Medals are an athlete's greatest goal. Some people, though, think that since taekwondo is only an exhibition contest and not a formal event, winning medals isn't all that important.

But for R.O.C. athletes who have trained so hard for the chance to compete, a gold medal has a special significance all its own.

Huang Yao-han originally weighed 57 kilos and belonged to the second weight class, but the International Taekwondo Association gave the R.O.C. the chance to compete in only the first and sixth classes of the men's division. Determined to take part in the Olympics, Huang reduced his weight by seven and a half kilos in a single week. Dizzy and light-headed at the trials, he defeated four or five strong opponents to win the right to go. "If taekwondo is later canceled as an exhibition and not recognized as a formal event, and I win a gold medal in the second class," he says, "won't that make mine the only one in the world?"

Hitting the bull's-eye and scoring full points is the highest achievement in archery and the basis of winning a medal. For an archer who has mastered the twin demands of steadiness and accuracy, winning a medal should follow as a matter of course, but attaining that degree of mastery is difficult indeed.

Just think about it. If you want to shoot a target less than five centimeters in diameter from a distance dozens of meters away, you've got to take into account wind speed, wind direction, lighting, and the quality of the bow and arrow. So hitting the bull's-eye is no easy feat.

Last Year Ch'iu Ping-k'un, Liu Pi-yu, and Ch'in Ch'iu-yueh each scored over 1,300 points in combined distance competition, a score approaching world-class standards.

Under its rules the International Olympic Committee requires that archers must score over 1,100 in the combined distance competition to participate in the Olympics this year, and it limits each country to sending three men and three women. The standards of the R.O.C. Olympic Committee, in fact, are stricter by 152 more points.

More than a hundred archers competed at the beginning of this year in four trials to join the R.O.C. team. The final roster was drawn up in May: the men were Ch'iu Ping-k'un, Hu P'ei-wen, and Yen Man-sung, and the women Liu Pi-yu, Ch'in Ch'iu-yueh, and Lai Fang-mei. This Olympics will be a first for all of them. Ch'iu and Liu shot the top scores, with 1,302 and 1,315 points each. Hu, the oldest, didn't touch a bow until he was 34. Lai, the youngest, graduated from high school just this year.

In analyzing the team's prospects, Lin Kuei-chang, the archery coach at the Tsoying Sports Training Center, points out that it will have an uphill struggle in the men's division, where the Europeans and Americans are extremely strong, but that on the women's side, where a South Korean is the current world record holder, the R.O.C. is not far behind South Korea, mainland China, and the U.S. "The women have a chance to win a team medal if they go all out," he says.

Although winning individual medals will be somewhat more difficult, the rules have been revised this year from an overall scoring system to one of elimination and advance. The new system affords a ray of hope to the R.O.C.'s archers, who have an average of less than six years of shooting experience each.

Under the new system "less experienced archers can sometimes rely on luck to gain an advantage," says Liu Pi-yu. At the World Cup competitions last year she watched a West German dark horse who "beat a lot of top-flight competitors even though she wasn't a strong shooter herself and wound up winning a bronze."

If the R.O.C.'s archers, who are scarcely top-flight themselves, can learn something from her ability to make the best of the new system, then perhaps they do have a chance of winning an individual medal or two.

[Picture Caption]

The 1988 Seoul Olympics will begin on September 17. The stadium in the lower left is where the baseball games will be held. (photo courtesy of the Seoul Olympics Association)

The R.O.C. baseball team, divided into batting and fielding units, practices pick offs and run-downs.

Are these two playing catch? No, just limbering up. (photo by Arthur Cheng)

To break up monotony over the four months of training, the coaches arranged for some exercises to music in the morning.

Huang Yao-han takes a flying leap--and hits his mark.

Five tough fighters from the taekwondo team. From left to right are Huang Yao-han, T'ung Ya-lin, Pai Yun-yao, Ch'en Yi-an, and Ch'in Yu-fang.

Taekwondo is an intense sport. To prevent injury, warm-ups are a must.

An archer can't perform smoothly in competition without a properly adjusted bow. (photo by Arthur Cheng)

The six Robin Hoods of the R.O.C. Olympic archery team. From left to right are Yen Man-sung, Ch'iu Ping-k'un, Ch'in Ch'iu-yueh, Hu P'ei-wen, Lai Fang-mei, and Liu Pi-yu.

A full ten points for hitting the yellow--that's the final goal of every archer. (photo by Chung Yung-ho)

 

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