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Fantastic Facts About South Korea’s Sports
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South Korea – one of the most modern Third World countries – is very successful in international sports. Between 1976 and 2004, Korea has won 203 Olympic medals, including 72 gold. She has more gold medals than Cuba, Venezuela, Portugal and Nigeria combined.
The South Korean team won the gold medal in the 4th World Junior Men’s Volleyball Championship held in Manama (Bahrain) in 1987. Suk-Eun Kim, the best player of the tournament, helped his team to reach first place, the best result ever for an Asian country since 1981.
Seoul – the capital of Korea – has hosted a number of international sporting events including:
-The X Asian Games
-World Basketball Championship VIII
-XXIV Olympic Games
Like Jorge Antonio Bell Mathey (Dominican Republic) and Oswaldo Jose Guillen Barrios (Venezuela), Dong Won Choi was one of the best baseball players of the 1980s. Under his creative leadership, Korea won the silver medal at the 1980 World Championship in Japan.
Un Yong Kim – former Korean politician and diplomat – received the Sports Grand Prix 2000 of the Korea Sports Press Union, in recognition of his contribution to the historic joint parade of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and South Korea on Olympic teams during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Sydney. This great man of Korean sports has been honored many times in recognition of his efforts to the national and regional sports movement.
South Korea won the second Olympic title in its history in women’s handball in Barcelona ’92 (the first one was in Seoul’88). He managed to defeat teams such as Austria, Spain, Germany and Norway. The team also won the gold medal at the 1995 World Cup. In 1998, Korea won the gold medal at the Asian Games in Thailand.
Korean baseball players were participating in the second Olympic tournament in Atlanta (Georgia, USA).
This Asian country is known for its sportswomen in the world. These athletes include Kim Jin Ho (archery), Jang Ji-Won (taekwondo), Kim Hyun OK (handball), Lee Bo-Na (shooting), Lee Eun-Sil (table tennis), Jang Mi Nam (lifting weight), Jin Sun-Yu (skating), Seok Eun-Mi (table tennis), Byun Chun-So (skating), Kim Hyung Mee (handball), Hyun Tung-Hwa (table tennis), Suh Kwang-Mi ( field hockey), Jang Young-Ja (table tennis), Sun-Hee Lee (taekwondo), Se Ri Pak (golf), Cho-Hyun Kang (shooting), Kim Soo Nyung (archery), Kim Hwa Soon (basketball ), Lee Eun Kyung (archery), Bang Soo Hyun (badminton) and Hyun Sook Hee (taekwondo).
Yoo Nam-Kyu won a gold medal in men’s table tennis singles at the Seoul Olympics.
The 1st World Youth Women’s Volleyball Championship was won by South Korea in a final against the People’s Republic of China.
Jae-Wang Kang was one of the best handball players of the 20th century. Under his exceptional play, South Korea won the silver medal in handball at the 1988 Olympics.
South Korea has won a gold medal in men’s basketball three times at the Asian Games (1970, 1982 and 2002).
The Peruvian women’s volleyball team was coached by Man Bok Park, who was born in South Korea. Immediately after the Peruvian women’s team failed to qualify for the Olympic Games in 1972, the Peruvian Volleyball Federation appointed Man Bok Park as the head coach of the senior national team. Man Bok Park said: “In four years I plan to make Peru one of the top six in the world”. In just a few months the Peruvian national team changed. He expected dedication and banishment from their vocabulary of the word “holiday”. He won the gold medal at the 1993 South American Championship, the silver medal at the 1982 World Championship, the silver medal at the 1986 Goodwill Games, the silver medal at the 1988 Olympic Games, the bronze medal at the 1986 World Championship and the bronze medal at 1991 Pan American Games.
The Republic of Korea hosted the 27th Baseball World Cup in 1982. The Korean team beat Japan to take first place. It was the first time a country other than Venezuela, Colombia or Puerto Rico won the World Championship.
Yang Jung-Mo won the Olympic gold medal for freestyle wrestling at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Canada. However, he missed out on the opportunity to defend his title when South Korea boycotted the 1980 Olympics in the Soviet Union.
The 2003 World University Games were held in Daeju, Republic of Korea.
Korea – one of the world’s poorest countries in the 1950s – competed in the Asian Games for the first time at the 1954 Asian Games in Manila, Philippines.
The Republic of Korea sent 9 sportswomen to the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer (Norway) in 1994.
Kim Hwa Soon is the best basketball player in Korean history. In 1984, she finally realized her dream of competing in the Olympics, helping the Korean team win a silver medal at the Los Angeles Games.
In the 1980s, Korea had famous volleyball players in Asia. They were Jang Suk Han, Jong-Il Yoon, Hee-Kyung Gae and Byung-Sun Lee.
Korean sportsmen have performed outstandingly in international events in sports such as archery, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, kayaking, cycling, horse riding, football, golf, gymnastics, handball, fencing, field hockey, judo , karate, shooting, softball, synchronized swimming, table tennis, volleyball, beach volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling.
Yeo Woon-Kon was a member of the Korean team that won the field hockey tournament at the 2002 Asian Games. He also won the silver medal at the Sydney Olympics.
The Korean youth football team won the Asian Cup in 1981 and qualified for the FIFA Youth World Cup in Sydney, Australia.
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