Judoist Lee Won-hee Brings Korea First Olympic Gold

      August 17, 2004 10:42

      Korea's hopes of a gold rush in the Athens Olympics have reignited following a first few days of disappointing results. World judo champion Lee Won-hee of South Korea added another crown to his record on Day three in the men's under 73 kilogram category.

      Nicknamed "Mr. knockout," the 23-year old Lee Won-hee threw Vitaliy MaKarov of Russia to the mat in the men's under 73 kilogram class final, topping off the match with a leg throw that ended the fight with just 10 seconds to go.

      Korean gold medalist Lee Won-hee bites his gold medal on the winner’s podium after defeating Vitaliy Makarov of Russia in the men’s judo under 73kgs category in the Athens summer Olympic games.

      "I wasn't sure whether I won the match even after I threw him on the mat. It felt so good after the judge's final call."

      South Korea judoist Lee Won-hee holds up hands after winning the gold medal in the men's -73-kg judo final against Vitaliy Makarov of Russia on Monday night.

      Family members and fans cheering for the young Korean went wild after having gone through the breathtaking moments in the final rounds. "I would like to thank my country and the Korean people. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you." "I would like to thank everyone who prayed for Won-hee. Thank you."

      As Lee clinched his victory, the whole nation quenched its thirst for gold with its first national anthem playing on Greek soil, Lee dedicated his win to his grandfather who has never missed a single match despite his drawn-out fight against cancer.

      Meanwhile despite earlier hopes of getting the same gold for both Koreas, North Korea's Kye Sun-hui came just short of winning the first title in the in the women's 57 kg finals. In a major upset, Yvonne Boenisch of Germany turned the tables on the two-time North Korean world champion to claim her gold.

      Arirang TV
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