By Peter Rutherford
LONDON (Reuters) - South Korean world record holder Im Dong-hyun made an early exit from the men's individual archery competition at the London Olympics on Friday, going out in the last 16 to Dutchman Rick van der Ven.
Im, who set the world record for 72 arrows in the ranking round a week ago, has two team gold medals from Beijing and Athens but had made the individual gold his priority in London.
The world number two will return to South Korea with just a bronze from the team event after the Koreans were surprisingly knocked out in the semi-finals by the United States.
Despite winning three consecutive team titles in Sydney, Athens and Beijing, South Korea has never had a male Olympic individual champion.
Im, who has strong myopia but refuses to wear glasses or lenses when he shoots, cut a forlorn figure as he walked off the field but said he would put the loss behind him and was already looking towards the 2016 Games.
"What's done is done. I'm ready for the next Olympics," he said, adding that physically he was not in top shape.
"I wasn't under too much pressure and my mind was pretty clear. I'm not satisfied but I did my best."
Dutchman Van der Ven, ranked 20th in the world, was delighted to have defeated Im and said the early conditions might have suited his style.
"It's the first time I've beaten a Korean archer in senior competition, although I had beaten them in youth world championships," he said.
"As a left-hander, the sun was good for me at this time of day, behind my back, but we'll have to see what it's like in the next round."
Van der Ven will face Kuo Cheng-wei of Taiwan in the quarter-finals later on Friday, the final day of archery at the 2012 London Olympics.
(Editing by Clare Fallon)
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