The South Korean Paralympic athletes maintained their grits until the end but failed to achieve their goals.
As South Korean badminton players Kim Jung-joon earned a silver medal at WH2 singles and Lee Dong-seop and Kim won a silver medal at WH2-WH1 doubles on Sunday – the last day of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, South Korea ended up in 41st place with 2 golds, 10 silvers and 12 bronzes.
The Paralympic squad of South Korea arrived Tokyo with the goal of entering the top 30 list by wining four golds, nine silvers and 21 bronzes. However, the team showed the lowest ranking since its first joining of the Tel Aviv Paralympic Games in 1968.
China topped the list with 96 golds, 60 silvers and 51 bronzes. Japan, the host country of the event, recorded 13 golds, 15 silvers and 23 bronzes, ranking 11th.
Chairman Jung Jin-wan of the Korean Paralympic Committee, a gold medalist shooter in the 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games said, "Many of you think of merely being part of the Paralympic Games as a incredible experience but I have a different viewpoint,” adding that what is being incredible from a perspective of athletes is to stay confident and dignified while trying their best to overcome challenges until the game is over. “The South Korean squad showed less than what they really have got during the Tokyo Olympics, which made me think of what to do next to promote the sports sector for the disabled once I go back home,” he said. “I have a lot of assignments to do.”
Chief Delegate Joo Won-hong said, “There have been constant talks of the need to lay a stronger basis and identify young generations. However, not any palpable policy has been put in place to show where we are supposed to be headed.” He added that a lesson learnt in Tokyo will guide him to set the right direction once he returns to the country.
The next Paralympic Games will open in Paris on Aug. 28, 2024.