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(LEAD) S. Korea holds team launching ceremony for Rio Olympics

All News 15:03 July 19, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES 4th para)

SEOUL, July 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea set out on its quest for a top-10 finish at next month's Rio de Janeiro Olympics with a team launching ceremony on Tuesday.

Some 300 athletes and officials were on hand at Olympic Hall, inside the Olympic Park in Seoul, along with Kim Jung-haeng and Kang Young-joong, co-heads of the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC), Kim Jong-deok, minister of culture, sports and tourism, and Chung Mong-gyu, head of the delegation.

South Korea is eyeing its fourth consecutive top-10 showing at a Summer Games in Rio by winning at least 10 gold medals.

South Korea will be represented in 24 out of 28 sports by 204 athletes, the lowest number for a Summer Olympics since Los Angeles in 1984, when there were 210 South Koreans. Boxer Ham Sang-myeong earned his last-minute ticket to the Rio Games earlier Tuesday morning.

The country had 267 athletes at both the 2004 Athens Games and the 2008 Beijing Games. At the 2012 London Olympics, 248 South Korean athletes competed.

"In addition to enhancing national prestige and personal honor with performances on the field, you should develop friendships with athletes from all over the world and use the precious opportunity to step into a wider world," Kim said.

With health and security concerns in Brazil, the sports ministry has teamed up with the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Police Agency to map out plans to map out safety plans for the delegation.


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