Tue, October 17, 2017 | 23:53
Posted : 2012-08-06 19:08
Updated : 2012-08-06 19:08

Park, Jang brign grace to losses

Park Tae-hwan
By Kang Seung-woo

Park Tae-hwan and Jang Mi-ran failed to repeat their golden performances of four years ago at the 2012 London Olympics but showed that even in defeat they could be graceful.

Their manner they responded to defeat indirectly shows how far Korea has come from the days of the Seoul Olympics when a Korean boxer staged a sit-in protest over an unfair ruling.

The 22-year-old swimmer, disqualified

Jang Mi-ran
and reinstated on his way to losing his 400-meter freestyle title on the first day of the games, finished with two silver medals. The 28-year-old weightlifter, bogged down with injuries and facing stronger, younger rivals, finished fourth in the women’s over 75-kilogram class.

Park has literally put South Korea’s name on the world swimming map.

In addition, the two-time 400-meter world champion was runner-up at that distance after the unprecedented disqualification-reinstatement saga. Having kept calm throughout the ordeal, Park burst into tears during a press conference after ceding his title to China’s Sun Yang.

In the 200-meter freestyle, Park finished second, and qualified for the 1,500-meter final, where he touched the wall in fourth.

“I would be lying if I said I do not have any regrets from that day,” Park said Sunday (KST) after finishing his third event.

“But I still won a very meaningful medal, thanks to the support and encouragement from a lot of people. I am taking away precious memories from this year's Olympics.”

For Jang, even before the beginning of Monday’s competition, the bid to defend her Olympic title looked a tall order.

Entering the London Games, the two-time Olympic medalist and four-time world champion was considered past her prime after suffering several injuries.

Although Jang failed to repeat her golden success and even missed out on a podium place, she still provided the kind of moving moment she has often produced.

“I am worried that I have let down people who have given me a lot of love and support because I did not come near the records I set in Beijing,” said a tearful Jang after finishing fourth, as China’s Zhou Lulu took gold while Russia’s Tatiana Kashirina won silver.

Jang, who claimed silver in Athens eight years ago, broke three world records in each of the snatch, clean and jerk and total weight lifted, with 140 kilograms, 186 kilograms and 326 kilograms respectively, on her way to the gold medal in Beijing.

“It would have been better if I had lifted more but I did what I had done in practice,” she said.

“I do not feel ashamed (about not making the podium) because I have really tried my best to live up to expectations, and I hope people will keep supporting weightlifting.”

Jang finished the snatch lifting 125 kilograms, but Zhou hoisted 146 and Kashirina a world-record 151.

In the clean and jerk, Jang ended on 164 kilograms, while the Chinese managed 187 to set a new world record total of 333 kilograms for gold while the Russian lifted 181 kilograms for combined tally of 332.

In the third-place duel, Jang was 5 kilograms short of eventual bronze medalist Hripsime Khurshudyan, who became Armenia’s first medal winner at the London Olympics.

After failing in her final attempt, Jang, who will turn 29 in October, blew a kiss at the barbell, a possible farewell signal to the sport but she did not comment on retirement.

“It is not something I can decide on my own,” she said. “It is premature at this point to talk about my future.”

Park, who will leave London today, said that he would first like to spend some time with his family before considering his future.

관련 한글 기사

박태환, 장미란 져도 품위있어..

박태환, 장미란 졌지만 잘했다.

박태환과 장미란이 이번 런던 올림픽에서 금메달은 아깝게 놓쳤지만 여전히 좋은 모습을 보였다.

박태환은 400미터에서 실격 파동을 딛고 당당히 은메달을 땄고 200미터에서도 은메달을 획득했다.

장미란은 연이은 부상과 새로운 강호들의 출현으로 이번 올림픽에서 4위에 머물렀다.

특히 세계 수영계의 변방인 한국에서 두 대회 연속 올림픽 메달을 가져간 것은 우리나라 체육사에 길이 남을 일이다.