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Judo Dream Team, “KRA,” Fails to Keep the Throne

Posted November. 18, 2004 23:04,   


The Korean Racing Association’s (KRA) plight has brought chaos to the judo society of Korea.

During the first round of elimination match of the 42nd President Cup National Judo Championship held in Hoingsung County on November 18, the Korean Racing Association, which retains four national judo players, each with a male weight, wasn’t successful in winning the championship in any of the weights.

After the players of the KRA team had recently divulged coaches’ brutal treatments and misappropriations of the team’s working expenses to the public, the players weren’t able to concentrate on training, and the KRA players paid a dear price.

The star player of KRA and the silver medalist of the 2004 Athens Olympics, Jang Sung-ho, barely won the bronze medal by winning in a consolation match after losing to Nam Gwang-woo (Korean National Railroad) by an ippon in the quarterfinals. Nam Gwang-woo won the championship of men’s 100kg class.

In the men’s 81kg, two players of the KRA, Kwon Young-woo and Choi Yong-shin, both failed to advance to the finals, and Kim Soo-kyoung from Yong In University won the championship. Hwang Heu-tae (KRA), the champion of last year’s World Judo Championship, also had to comfort himself with a bronze medal in the men’s 90kg. Yoo Sung-youn from the Choongnam Judo Society won the championship of the men’s 90kg.

Although Kim Sung-bum (men’s 100kg and over) was the only player from KRA who advanced to the finals, he lost to Hong Sung-hyun from Yong In University with three shidos, winning a silver medal.

Sang-Ho Kim hyangsan@donga.com