By Joo Kyung-don
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea, Feb. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korean national moguls skiing coach Toby Dawson said Monday that his athletes have proved their talents at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, even though none of them won a medal.
The Korean-American coach, the bronze medalist in moguls at the 2006 Turin Winter Games, said South Korea has proved its caliber in mogul skiing.
"We showed that South Korea is definitely a country that is coming up," Dawson told Yonhap News Agency after the men's moguls competition at Phoenix Snow Park in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province. "There are some great mogul skiers in this country and we just proved that to the rest of the world."
South Korea sent five skiers -- three men and two women -- to the PyeongChang Olympics. None of them won a medal, with Choi Jae-woo posting the best result from the men's side by reaching the second final round, while Seo Jung-hwa placed 14th among 30 contestants in the women's moguls.
Choi was especially unlucky in his second final run as he crashed after his second jump and failed to finish his race. The 23-year-old was tied for 10th after other two Japanese skiers also fell on the snow in their second final run.
"Jae-woo just had a little bit of a tough luck," Dawson said. "He had a great run going and I'm sure it would have qualified him for the next round. He was unfortunate."
Choi was one of South Korea's medal hopefuls in snow sports, having posted three fourth-place finishes at the International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cups this season.
"He's got lot of things to be proud of," Dawson said of Choi. "He has been skiing great and all these Koreans were here to support him. He really gave it a great chance today."
As for Seo, she posted her personal-best Olympic result with 14th place. The 27-year-old was in her third Olympic Games. Dawson said she had a "great performance."
"She had a sore hip and wasn't able to train all that she wanted to," he said. "But she was able to put it together and showed a couple of solid performances. Finishing 14th is a really great statement for her."
For the team's future plans, Dawson said his athletes will definitely go for the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.
"We definitely have highly talented athletes and I want to see if they are motivated to go through to Beijing," he said. "We also need to start focusing on grassroots programs to really develop the bottom."
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