National Sports Festival a Tune-up for London Olympics

The weeklong 92nd National Sports Festival gets under way on Thursday in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, featuring 17,983 athletes ranging from promising new talents to Olympic gold medalists like weightlifter Jang Mi-ran.

Rhythmic gymnast Son Yeon-jae is the hottest star of the event. Son, who won her berth at the 2012 London Olympics by placing 11th in the individual all-around at this year's World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Montpellier, France, on Sept. 24, will compete in the high school age group on Monday in Gimpo.

Leading athletes will also get a chance to sharpen their skills ahead of the Summer Games in London next year. Beijing 2008 Olympics champion Lee Yong-dae, the face of Korean badminton, will play in the men's doubles and team event at a gymnasium of Ajou University in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province from Sunday.

And Jang, who is due to compete at the World Weightlifting Championships next month in Paris, will check her form in the heavy over-75kg class at KINTEX in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, on Saturday.

englishnews@chosun.com / Oct. 06, 2011 10:40 KST