Korean men's 4x100-m relay team set a new national record at the World Championships in Athletics on Sunday.
The team consisting of Yeo Ho-suah, Cho Kyu-won, Kim Kuk-young and Lim Hee-nam clocked 38.94 seconds in the preliminaries to edge the previous record by 0.1 second.
The team failed to advance to the final as it finished fifth in the group and 13th overall out of 23 countries, but the result boosted hopes of its qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics.
The Korea Association of Athletics Federations only formed the relay team in January in preparation for this year's Worlds.
As Kim Kuk-young's national 100-m record of 10.23 seconds lags far behind the world record, the association decided to focus on the team sprint rather than individual talent.
The relay team trained in Thailand for 80 days from February and worked on technical aspects of the race, such as the crucial baton pass. The training paid off in May when the team broke the 23-year-old national record of 39.43 seconds by clocking 39.04 seconds at the Asian Grand Prix in China. It then smashed this record again on Sunday.
This was faster than the time of 39.20 seconds that will be required to gain a berth at the upcoming Summer Games. In order to qualify for London, Korea needs to rank as one of 16 countries with a time faster than this standard.
However it still has competition from within Asia, let alone the rest of the world. In Daegu, Korea was unable to beat Asia's top two teams -- Japan and China -- which finished ninth (38.66 seconds) and 12th (38.87 seconds), respectively.