Go to contents

Lee Won-hee is “Ready to Go”

Posted July. 13, 2004 22:21,   


Jun Kee-yung, head trainer of the Korean National Judo team, is watching Lee Won-hee train as he remembers his own years as an athlete eight years ago. Jun, well known for flipping opponents with style, trained in front of a highly eager media contingent to win the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, and his dream of winning the gold was achieved.

Four years later, at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics, the Korean Judo team did not win a single gold. Another four years later at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics, Lee Won-hee is training with high hopes to win the gold just like his trainer did eight years ago.

Jun, who knows more than anyone else about the stressful situation that Lee Won-hee is going through, gave the advice that “preventing injuries is the number one priority when finishing up the training.” Lee, who is well known as the champion of last years World Championships, has well proven his capabilities. All that he has left toward the upcoming Olympics is to prepare himself to his best condition.

Jun also remarked that “Lee is quite stubborn during training and it makes him get easily aggravated. He should mentally prepare himself for future slumps.” He also seemed worried about the fact that Lee Won-hee has recently lost two games in overtime.

“He needs to have more stamina during the second half. He should pace himself accordingly rather than over-pacing himself during the first moments of the match, he should learn to effectively use the entire five minutes of the game.”

For all the high hopes and spotlight aimed at Lee Won-hee, Jun remarked, “I remember the days when the interviews came rushing in and right now, Lee will probably be going through a lot of stress.” He also said, “He should overcome this with confidence.”

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com