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Korea Judo Team, “Oops”

Posted October. 31, 2003 23:00,   


The Korean national judo team reached the final round in six weight classes, but unfortunately nothing came out of it. The judo team disgracefully returned home.

At the 2003 Asia Judo Championship Tournament, held at Jeju Halla Gymnasium on October 31, Korea reached the final round in six weight classes among a total of eight classes, but all of these six ended up winning only the silver medal for their respective classes, failing to bring in the gold medals. Compared to Japan (four gold medals, 1 man, 3 women), this gave the Korean people deep disappointment and sadness.

The nightmare started when Choi Suk-e (Incheon East District Office) of the women’s over-78 kg class gave away the gold medal to her opponent, Liu Huan-wien of China, by a pressure-down-fall move. Following this, Jang Sung-ho (Korea Racing Association) of the men’s 100 kg class, who had bottled up Shouji Takeho by a leg-lifting-throwing-out move in the semifinals, was defeated by Jitkeyev Aaskat of Kazakhstan, who beat him with a leg-holding-throwing-out move.

Choi Sung-ha (Sangmu, the Korean armed forces athletic corps) of the men’s 90 kg class, was defeated by Yajaki Yuta of Japan, and Bae Eun-hye (Yongin University) of the women’s 70 kg class gave way to Kaiyama Hitomi of Japan, the winner of the 2002 Austria Judo Open.

When Kwon Young-woo (Hanyang University) of the men’s 81 kg class, who was considered to be a strong power against the foreign players due to his two gold medals in the Universiade Judo match in 2001 and 2003 and another gold medal in the Hungary Open this year, was defeated by Tamdin Suren of Mongolia, the national team’s mood was filled with depression and despair. Lee Bok-hee (Incheon East District Office) of the women’s 63 kg class was also defeated by Ueno Yoshii of Japan, through a dragged-out extra time.

On the last day of tournament, November 1, another eight weight classes of both the men and women will be held in Jeju.

Sang-Ho Kim hyangsan@donga.com