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Swimmer earns top S. Korean amateur athlete award

2018 Jakarta & Palembang 11:06 February 25, 2019

SEOUL, Feb. 25 (Yonhap) -- On the strength of her historic gold medal at last year's Asian Games, swimmer Kim Seo-yeong was honored Monday as the country's top amateur athlete.

Kim was the recipient of the grand prize at the 24th annual Coca-Cola Sports Awards. The 24-year-old received 10 million won (US$8,900) in prize money.

In this file photo from Aug. 24, 2018, South Korean swimmer Kim Seo-yeong waves to the crowd after winning the gold medal in the women's 200-meter individual medley at the 18th Asian Games at GBK Aquatic Center in Jakarta. (Yonhap)

Kim captured the gold medal in the women's 200-meter individual medley at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta last August. Her time of 2:08.34 was both the South Korean national record and the Asian Games competition record. Kim added a silver in the 400m individual medley.

Kim became the first South Korean swimmer to win an Asian Games gold since Park Tae-hwan won three gold medals and Jeong Da-rae added another in 2010.

Before Kim, the last South Korean to win an individual medley title in the Asian Games was Choi Yun-hui in the women's 200m in 1982.

Oh Yeon-ji, who brought South Korea its first Asian Games gold in women's boxing, and Lee Dae-hoon, the first taekwondo fighter ever to win three straight Asiad titles, received honors in the individual athlete category.

The top disabled athlete was Lee Do-yeon, who grabbed two gold medals in the women's para cycling at last year's Asian Para Games.

The national fencing team, which swept up 15 medals, including six gold, at the Asian Games, was named the Team of the Year. Kim Hak-bum, who coached South Korea to their second straight Asiad title in men's football in Indonesia, was named the Coach of the Year.

In this file photo from Sept. 1, 2018, South Korean boxer Oh Yeon-ji celebrates with the national flag after winning a gold medal in the women's 60-kilogram division at the 18th Asian Games at Jakarta International Expo Hall in Jakarta. (Yonhap)

Table tennis player Cho Dae-seong, a 16-year-old sensation who won two silver medals at the national championships, and gymnast Yeo Seo-jeong, the Asian Games women's vault champion, were named the best young athletes.

The organizers also handed out two special awards. One went to the women's canoeing national team for its combined Asiad gold medal in dragon boat racing with North Korea.

The other went to late cyclist Lee Min-hye, a two-time Asian Games champion who passed away last November.

Coca-Cola has been presenting its annual awards to the country's top amateur athletes since 1995. Previous winners include Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na, Olympic marathon gold medalist Hwang Young-cho and four-time Olympic shooting champion Jin Jong-oh.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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