By Nick Butler at the Main Media Centre in Nanjing

Thomas Bach alongside World Archery President Ugur Erdener during the girl's individual final ©World ArcheryInternational Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has hailed a "fantastic" girl's individual archery final at the Fangshan Archery Field this afternoon, after Li Jiaman of China overcame France's Melanie Gaubil in a deciding shootout.

The German, attending the match alongside World Archery President Ugur Erdener, a colleague of Bach's on the IOC ruling Executive Board,had the good fortune to attend one of the most exciting finales of any event here, as the gold medal was won on the very last arrow.

After Li fought back to level the match at five sets apiece to force a one-arrow shoot-off, the 17-year-old had the added pressure of her French opponent shooting a strong nine, but with nerves of steel, she duly shot a perfect 10 to claim victory.

It was the Chinese star's second gold of the Games after victory yesterday with Luis Gabriel Moreno of the Philippines in the mixed team event.

Bach, who as a German football fan knows a thing or two about winning deciding shootouts, was full of praise, especially for the format of the competition for allowing such an exciting ending. 

"It was a fantastic competition," he said.

"If you have a shoot-off in the final, you can't get any better."

Li Jiaman won gold in thrilling fashion ©World ArcheryLi Jiaman won gold in thrilling fashion ©World Archery

Erdener had already hailed the new format of the sport, which deems shoot-outs such as this one far more likely, as one of a number of innovations introduced in order to evolve and update archery, and therefore broaden its appeal. 

Another such change is the introduction of a mixed team event, where athletes from different countries are paired after the ranking round to shoot in a two-person team elimination competition.

A mixed team event of some description could feature on a future Summer Olympic programme, possibly in time for Tokyo 2020, Erdener has revealed.

Bach echoed the Turk's enthusiasm for the new format, something he believes encapsulates the true spirit of the Youth Olympics.

"Getting these athletes closer to the Olympic Movement, to give them the opportunity for high-level competition but also, at the same time, to show to them that the Olympic idea is going behind competition," he said. 

"It shows that the Youth Olympic Games are also about making friends and I think archery athletes enjoy it as much as all the other athletes."

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