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Lee Won-hee Wins Gold in the Korean Open

Posted December. 05, 2004 22:55,   


“I hope that he grows into one of my good rivals in the future,” said Lee Won-hee.

“It was beyond my capacity. However, I will not give away a ticket to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing,” said Kim Jae-bum.

The 2004 Athens Olympics gold medallist, Lee Won-hee revenged his loss in the preliminary round of national team selection two weeks ago, defeating Kim Jae-bum of Yongin University, this year’s world junior champion.

In the 2004 KRA Cup Korea Open International Judo Tournament, sponsored by the Dong-a Ilbo, held in Halla Stadium in Jeju on Dec. 4, Lee defeated Kim, his three-year junior at Yongin University, with Ippon in the overtime in men’s –73kg.

The pivotal moment came when 1 minute and 5 seconds were remaining in the five-minute overtime. When Kim pushed in his shoulders for an offensive attack, Lee quickly grabbed Kim’s leg and threw him on the mat, proving why he is called “Mr. Ippon.” After the match, Lee encouraged Kim, saying that Kim has a monstrous physical strength just like European players, and wished him luck in the future.

In the women’s tournament, Bae Eun-hae of Yongin University won the gold medal as she defeated her French counterpart Mylene Chollet with Ippon in women’s –70 kg category. Bronze medallist in the 2004 Athens Olympics, Choi Min-ho and Bang Gui-man each earned gold medals in men’s –60kg and –66 kg, respectively.

Korea, earning seven gold medals in the tournament, became the champion of the tournament for sixth consecutive time, edging out Japan, which earned three gold medals.

Sang-Ho Kim hyangsan@donga.com