Some 120 Korean athletes including the women's football team, shooting squad, gymnastics team and men's hockey team arrived in Guangzhou on Monday for the 2010 Asian Games. The men's football team had arrived earlier for preliminary matches.
Choi In-cheul, the coach of the women's football team, was confident about winning a medal. "Our players earned a huge boost in confidence by winning the Peace Queen Cup" last month, he said.
Ji So-yun, who led the team to third place in the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup this summer, said, "I have a feeling that we'll definitely win a medal."
The rest of the Korean team, including Lee Ki-heung, president of the Korea Swimming Federation and chief delegate of the squad, and 2008 Olympic swimming gold medalist Park Tae-hwan, will arrive on Tuesday.
In a press conference in Guangzhou on Monday, Park's coach Michael Bohl said that Park is very well prepared for the Games and expects to improve his record from the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in August. Park currently holds the world's best time in the 400-m freestyle this year, and he aims to beat his personal best of the season in the 200 m, which currently stands at sixth in the world, Bohl added.
Meanwhile, many football fans hoping to watch the match between the two Koreas on Monday found themselves out of luck despite plenty of empty seats.
The 30,000-seat Yuexiushan Stadium was around 80 percent empty, but some 200 locals were unable to get a hold of tickets.
The organizing committee of the Games apparently put only 3,000 tickets on sale and gave the rest away to public officials, an staff member of the Korean residents' association in Guangzhou claimed. Many of the tickets that had been sold were resold on the black market where the price increased 10-fold to 400 yuan. "We're worrying that the situation will be the same for other matches as well. It seems to be very hard to get tickets," he said.