Go to Contents Go to Navigation

(2nd LD) S. Korea holds team launching ceremony for Rio Olympics

All Headlines 15:59 July 19, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS comments at bottom, photos)

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.

Pistol shooter Jin Jong-oh, named the men's captain for South Korea on the day, said he will try to lead the rest of the delegation by example.

"The people have been supporting me so much, and I don't think there can be any more pressure on me than there is already," said the four-time Olympian and three-time gold medalist. "There are about 15 days left (until the Aug. 5-21 competition), and I'll try to make sure all the work I've put in will bear fruit."

For the second consecutive Olympics, Jin could bring home the first gold medal. His 10m air pistol event is scheduled for Aug. 6, the day after the opening ceremony.

"I don't think there's any added pressure in that regard, and it's something I have to accept as part of the Olympics," Jin said. "I actually think it's a great opportunity. I am looking forward to it myself, and I'll be competing with confidence."

Archer Ki Bo-bae, who earned two gold medals in London four years ago, said representing the country in her sport carries extra significance because of the depth of the talent pool in archery.

"The big goal is to win the country's eighth consecutive team gold medal," Ki said. "I am the only one with Olympic experience on the team, but I'll still be able to feed off the energy of my teammates (Choi Mi-sun and Chang Hye-jin)."

As for defending her individual gold medal, Ki said, "If I don't try to do too much, I think good results will follow. My biggest rival is myself."

jeeho@yna.co.kr
(END)

HOME TOP
Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!