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Italy edges U.S. men for archery gold on final arrow

Michele Frangilli shot a bull's-eye with the final arrow, giving his Italian team a one-point win over the United States in the gold medal match of the men's archery team competition.

Italy earned its first gold medal in the event with the 219-218 decision, having taken silver behind South Korea in 2000 and '08. The U.S. knocked off the heavily favored Koreans in the semifinals.

"We have won a medal as a team and that's special," said American Brady Ellison of the silver. "I'm here with my guys. Now we are fired up for the individual."

South Korea took bronze against Mexico by a 224-219 margin.

The Americans were the last country other than South Korea to win gold, in 1996, though their chances for another decreased after falling behind by four points after 15 of 24 arrows.

But the U.S. team of Jake Kaminski, Jacob Wukie and Brady Ellison combined for 29 points to finish the third of four ends -- which are combinations of point totals from six shots.

In the team competition, each member from one team shoots in succession before the other team does the same. They do that twice per end, and an 8 by Marco Galiazzo in Italy's last rotation allowed the U.S. to trim the difference to two.

The U.S. got within a point after the team's first rotation of the fourth end, thanks to an 8 by Frangilli.

But by the time he stepped up to shoot again, he had the final arrow and Italy was down by 9 points. He fired an arrow that stuck into the target on the border between the center -- worth 10 points -- and the 9-point range. It counted as 10, and the Italians broke into a wild celebration.

"I don't know what happened. I was just shooting my arrow," said Frangilli. "I had a few seconds left. I tried to give all I had to give. I am happy because I managed to empty my mind."

Saturday's competition featured an elimination round, along with quarterfinals, semifinals and the two medal bouts.

The U.S. and South Korea received byes into the quarterfinals based on the strength of their qualifying performances, along with China and France.

The Americans scored a comeback win against Japan in the quarterfinals, winning by just one point. The Japanese had beaten India in an elimination match shootoff, then were leading the Americans. But a strong performance in the final two ends gave the U.S. the win.

Also in the quarterfinals, South Korea won against the Ukraine, which had earlier ousted Great Britain. Italy beat China, which won bronze four years ago, in the quarters.

The U.S. then scored an upset victory against South Korea in the semis. The American trio out-pointed the Koreans in the final three ends for a 224-219 triumph.

It was an upset because South Korea had won the last three gold medals in the event, and broke its 216-arrow world record in Friday's ranking round. During that stage, Im Dong-Hyun, who is legally blind in one eye, broke his own world record.

Italy edged Mexico by two points in the semifinals.

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