Actress Lee Si-young Aims to Step into the Ring for Korea at Rio Olympics

      February 06, 2015 08:24

      Lee Si-young

      Actress and boxer Lee Si-young will compete for a spot on the national boxing team. Lee plans to attend first-round tryouts for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, her agents, J Wide Company, said.

      Lee took up the sport after being cast as a boxer in a TV drama in 2010. Though the production was canceled, she kept it up as a hobby.

      Lee established herself as a genuine boxer when she won the women's 48-kg category in the National Amateur Boxing Championships in 2011, using her height and long arms to her advantage.

      Controversy arose when she won several matches despite being a rookie, amid allegations of biased judging. When she won the final bout by decision at the National Amateur Boxing Championships in April 2013, some claimed the Boxing Association of Korea was pressuring judges to favor Lee so she could be used to revive the sport's popularity. But the association said a review showed there was nothing wrong with the decisions.

      Lee's bid for Rio will be her second attempt to represent Korea at an international multi-sport event. The actress had planned to participate in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games after joining the Incheon City boxing team in January 2013. But she failed to enter the tryouts for the Games due to a shoulder injury she picked up in the preliminaries of the National Sports Festival in October 2013, and missed the festival as well.

      Lee will begin preparing for tryouts for the national boxing squad soon.

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