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Legally blind archer from South Korea sets world record at Olympics

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July 27, 2012: South Korea's Im Dong-hyun celebrates his world record during an individual ranking round at the 2012 Summer Olympics.AP

Legally blind archer Im Dong-hyun set the first world records of the London Olympics, breaking his own record in the 72-arrow mark and helping South Korea set a team record in the ranking round on Friday.

Im broke the record he had set in Turkey in May by three points with a score of 699, hours before the 2012 Games official opening ceremony.

"This is just the first round, so I will not get too excited by it," said Im, who has 10 percent vision in his left eye and 20 percent in his right.

He combined with Kim Bub-min and Oh Jin-hyek, smashing the record for 216 arrows with a total 2,087. That was 18 better than the mark South Korea set in May.

The 26-year-old Im has said that when he looks at the targets, he sees colors with blurred lines between them. He does not wear glasses in competition, saying he relies on distinguishing between the bright colors of the target.

He won gold medals in the team event at the 2008 Beijing and 2004 Athens Olympics.

Spectators hoping to catch a glimpse of the action were turned away from Lord's cricket ground.

Preliminary rounds were listed as non-ticketed, so several thousand spectators showed up at the venue expecting to get in for free.

A spokeswoman for the London Games organizing committee said tickets were not advertised or sold for the qualifying events and "we have always made it clear" that the early competitions were not open for spectators.