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Figure skater Kim Yu-na qualifies for highest sports medal under new criteria

All News 18:18 July 25, 2016

SEOUL, July 25 (Yonhap) -- Former Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na will qualify for the nation's top sports honor under revised criteria, officials said Monday.

An official with the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) said Kim, the 2010 Olympic gold medalist in ladies' singles, will be eligible to receive the Cheongryong (Blue Dragon) Medal under the new qualification rules.

The previous scale required the recipient to earn 1,500 points, with an Olympic gold worth 600 points, a silver worth 360 points, and a bronze good for 200 points. Medals won in other international competitions are worth less.

According to the KOC official, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on Monday came up with a new points system.

The Cheongryong Medal still requires 1,500 points, but an Olympic gold is now worth 800 points. A silver medal is 540 points, and a bronze is worth 320 points.

Kim had 1,424 points from her 2010 Olympic gold, 2014 Olympic silver, and seven medals won at world senior and junior championships.

Kim now has 2,050 points with the new points scale.

The government raised the requirement from 1,000 to 1,500 in 2013. And when Kim came up short, critics said there was little point of even having the medal in place when one of the nation's most iconic stars was not eligible to earn it.

Kim received Moran Medal, the second-highest Order of Civil Merit, in 2012 for helping PyeongChang win the bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. A recipient of a government order may not win another medal for seven years.

However, Kim may qualify for an exception because of her special contribution to sports, and could still receive the Cheongryong Medal in 2016.

Sports medals are typically awarded on Oct. 15, the National Day of Sports.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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