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National athletic meet opens in Pusan: signifies fresh start

National athletic meet opens in Pusan: signifies fresh start

Posted October. 12, 2000 19:25,   


The first National Athletic Meet of the new millennium opened at the Kudok Main Stadium in Pusan Thursday with a gala ceremony to mark the hectic seven-day competition.

Delegations from 16 metropolitan cities and provinces are taking part in the annual national sports festival. Also on hand are 12 delegations of Korean residents living abroad.

Culture-Information Minister Kim Han-Gill declared the event officially open and Pusan Metropolitan City Mayor Ahn Sang-Young delivered a welcoming address during the ceremony, which was attended by about 30,000 athletes, officials and citizens.

In his congratulatory address, President Kim Dae-Jung said that the sports meet should become an event that helps open a new era of harmony and hope.

The President asked the participants to make the national sports meet an occasion for an energetic fresh start with the entire people of one mind and one opinion beyond all differences, as this year¡¯s slogan states.

Prior to the opening ceremony, colorful events such as hip-hop gymnastics and creative crane dances celebrated the sports meet in the southern port city, instead of the usual stereotyped mass games. The event is viewed as a rehearsal for the 2002 Pusan Asian Games.

Participating athletes will compete in a total of 38 official sports and two demonstration events --softball and the triathlon -- for the glory of their hometowns until Oct. 18.

In the first day of competition, Soh Yeo-Sun of Chollapuk-do, a sophomore at Sunchang High School, became the first gold medalist of the sports meet. She won three gold medals in the 48kg class of the girls¡¯ high school weightlifting competition.

She won the first gold in the snatch by lifting 67.5kg, breaking the previous Korean junior record of 65kg. Her second came in the jerk when she lifted 87.5kg and the third came from a total of 155kg, which also eclipsed the preceding junior record of 152.5kg.