Park Tae-hwan picks up 2nd medal in pool; another judging dispute for Korea
He grabbed silver in the 200-meter freestyle Monday at 1 minute and 44.93 seconds, sharing the second place with Sun Yang of China behind the winner Yannick Agnel, who ended in 1:43.13.
Park matched the color of the medal he'd won in 400ｍ free earlier. That made him the first South Korean male athlete to win at least two medals in back-to-back Olympics. He picked up gold and silver in the 400ｍ and 200ｍ in Beijing.
The 200ｍ free isn't Park's major event. Park admitted he expected Agnel, Sun and American star Ryan Lochte to jostle for podium positions.
But Park got off to his typically fast start. With Lochte struggling to keep pace and Agnel going wire-to-wire, it appeared Park would have the sole possession of second.
As was the case in the 400ｍ free, Park ran out of gas over the final stretch.
"With about 5ｍ left, I knew I was behind Agnel but ahead of Sun," Park said. "But I was just too fatigued by then. And Sun has such a great last-minute spurt."
Park's was the only medal for South Korea on Monday, as judo's Wang Ki-chun suffered another heartbreaking Olympic moment.
He fell to Russia's Mansur Isaev in the semifinals and then lost to Ugo Legrand of France in the bronze medal contest.
Wang injured his right elbow during his second round match against Rinat Ibragimov, when the arm got twisted underneath the Kazakh.
South Korean officials said Wang suffered ligament damage. Before the semifinal contest, Wang was seen massaging and shaking his right arm before taking the mat.
Then during the match against Isaev, Wang injured his left elbow.
Wang is a two-time world champion but an Olympic gold has eluded him again. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Wang broke his ribs in the quarters but fought his way to the final, where he lost to Elnur Mammadli of Azerbaijan in just 13 seconds.
The first inter-Korean showdown took place in men's table tennis. North Korea's Kim Hyok-bong, ranked 77th, upset South Korea's 10th-ranked Joo Sae-hyuk 4-2 in the third round of men's singles play.
The defensive-minded Kim got out of his comfort zone Sunday and played a more aggressive game, while Joo, a notoriously slow starter, admitted he couldn't find his rhythm from the first set.
This won't be the only all-Korea contest in table tennis in London. Their male players have been drawn to meet in the opening round of the team event, set to begin this Friday.
Korea found itself at the center of yet another officiating dispute Monday. Epee fencer Shin A-lam lost to Germany's Britta Heidemann in the semifinal, on Heidemann's last-gasp attack.
South Korea protested that after Shin fended off Heidemann's attack three times, the German's hit came after the final second was up.
Heidemann still was awarded the victory, leading to a sit-down protest by Shin. The 25-year-old Korean went on to lose her bronze medal bout.
"I am very emotional. I should've won," Shin said after the semifinal. "I've been trying and working to get an Olympic medal for four years, and now I lost it in just one second. It's just impossible to accept."
Elsewhere, the women's handball team edged Denmark 25-24 for its second straight victory in group stage. It was Korea's first win over Denmark in Olympics in five matches. Two of the previous defeats came in the finals of the 1996 and then the 2004 Olympics.
Jo Hyo-bi led the Koreans with five goals. They led by as many as five goals and held on for dear life over the final seconds to preserve the one-goal victory.
South Korea, considered the heavy underdog in its Group B, has now taken down two European giants. It defeated Spain, third at last year's world championships, in the opener last week.
Head coach Kang Jae-won said after watching Denmark squeak past Sweden 21-18, he felt the Danes could be "easily beatable."
"Actually, we should've won this match more handily," Kang said. "Denmark isn't as strong as it used to be."
There are two groups of six and the top four teams from each will reach the quarters. Norway and France, the finalists at the 2011 world championships, are also in South Korea's group.
On Tuesday, judo's Kim Jae-bum in men's under-81㎏ class will try to do what teammate Wang couldn't, and win Korea's first judo gold in London. The men's handball team will seek to keep up with the female team in its group stage match against Hungary.