High Hopes for a Big Korean Gold Medal Haul in Rio

  • By Choi Jong-seok

    August 05, 2016 10:32

    Korea aims to win at least 10 gold medals and finish in the top 10 on the medal tally at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, which kick off on Saturday.

    The country won 13 gold medals to finish fifth in London in 2012, its second-best result after the fourth-place finish at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. If it achieves its goal in Rio, Korea will have finished in the top 10 at four consecutive Summer Olympics.

    To reach the goal, Korea needs to sweep the gold medals in all four of the disciplines it dominates: archery, shooting, taekwondo and judo. The men's and women's archery teams aim to win all four gold medals on offer -- one each in the male and female individual and team events. Korea's women archers are attempting to clinch their eighth consecutive team gold in a streak that began in Seoul in 1988.

    Shooter Jin Jong-oh hopes to become the first Olympian to win a gold medal in the discipline for the third straight Olympics.

    In the judo team, which includes three world No. 1 athletes, male judokas Kim Won-jin, An Ba-ul, An Chang-rim and Gwak Dong-han and female exponents Kim Jan-di and Kim Seong-yeon will vie for gold.

    Taekwondo exponents Lee Dae-hoon and Kim Tae-hun are also strong candidates to win the gold, while badminton players Lee Yong-dae and Yoo Yeon-seong are likely to dominate the men's doubles, in which they are currently ranked No. 1 in the world.

    Wrestler Kim Hyeon-woo will be defending the gold he won in London in 2012. Gold medals are also expected in men's and women's fencing, with Gu Bon-gil, Kim Ji-Yeon and Kim Jung-hwan competing, and women's golf, in which Park In-bee, Kim Sei-young, Yang Hee-young and Chun In-gee will compete.

    Korea's first gold medal should come on Sunday, when the men's team archery (Kim Woo-jin, Ku Bon-chan and Lee Seung-yun), men's 10-m air pistol (Jin Jong-oh) and men’s 60-kg judo (Kim Won-jin) events are held. The women’s team archery competition (Ki Bo-bae, Choi Mi-sun and Chang Hye-jin) will be held on Monday, while An Chang-rim will compete in the men's judo 73-kg category on Tuesday. 

    Rhythmic gymnast Son Yeon-jae will make her final Olympic appearance on Aug. 21, a day before the closing ceremony. 

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