Sun, October 22, 2017 | 00:59
Posted : 2012-08-07 16:55
Updated : 2012-08-07 16:55

Korea eyes record gold medal haul

Shooter Kim Jang-mi, 19, won the gold in the women’s 25-meter pistol in her maiden Olympic appearance, Wednesday (KST).
By Jung Min-ho

Powered by unexpected medals and strong favorites coming through, Team Korea is now aiming beyond its initial goal of winning 10 gold medals. It now hopes to rewrite history in London by exceeding the 13 golds won in Beijing four years ago.

Several less-anticipated victories at the Summer Games completely changed the dynamic of Team Korea from negative to positive when its rosy prediction of winning four gold medals on the first two days faltered. First came the news from the Royal Artillery Barracks as 19-year-old Kim Jang-mi topped the podium in the women’s 25-meter pistol, in her maiden Olympic appearance on Aug. 1. At that point, few expected more surprises, especially in fencing where medal

Boxer Han Soon-chul has already secured a bronze in the men’s lightweight division in London, Tuesday (KST).
hopeful Nam Hyun-hee was eliminated in the women’s individual foil semifinals.

A day before Kim’s victory, Shin A-lam failed in her bid for the women’s epee title due to a controversial judging decision that allowed more time than the one second showing on the clock. Maybe the controversial judging call sparked other Korean fencers’ success. Choi Byung-chul took bronze in the men’s foil Wednesday, followed by Jung Jin-sun’s bronze in the men’s epee, and Kim Ji-yeon’s gold in the saber. Shin came away from the games with a medal, earning silver in the women’s team epee, while Korea also earned bronze in the women’s team foil, with the men’s saber team claiming the gold medal.

When the top judo medal hopeful Wang Ki-chun failed to reach the podium, many expected there would be no more medals in the sport after Kim Jae-bum’s gold in the men’s under -81-kilogram class. But Song Dae-nam at age 34 and in his Olympic debut was victorious in the men’s under -90 kilogram final.

Lightweight boxer Han Soon-chul has secured a spot on the Olympic podium after defeating Uzbekistan’s Fazliddin Gaibnazarov in the quarterfinals after Shin Jong-hun’s shock exit in his first match. After failing to reach the quarterfinals at the Beijing Games, the 27-year-old Han is now guaranteed at least a bronze as medals will be awarded to both losing semifinalists. He will next face Evaldas Petrauskas on Saturday.

Korea stood in fourth place in the medal table as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, with 11 golds, 5 silvers and 6 bronzes. Undoubtedly, strong favorites such as shooter Jin Jong-oh and nation’s archers played a vital role in keeping the country placed high in the standings amid fierce competition.

And the faster-than-expected accomplishment of winning 10 golds has only heightened the anticipation for more good news since the taekwondo competition starting Thursday with the team looking to repeat the gold medal sweep of four years ago. Eighteen-year-old rhythmic gymnast Son Yeon-jae is ready to perform in front of the world, also from Thursday. She has emerged as a medal hopeful after claiming the nation’s first bronze at the World Cup Series this year. And there may be more surprises to come.

관련 한글 기사

올림픽 최대메달 획득을 노리는 올림픽 대표팀

큰 기대를 모으지 않았던 펜싱과 사격에서의 메달 봇물에 힘입어, 한국 올림픽 대표팀은 당초 런던 올림픽 목표였던 금메달 10개를 넘어서 역대 최대 금메달 개수인 13을 향한 힘찬 발걸음을 재촉하고 있다.

올림픽 첫째 날과 둘째 날에 기대했던 수영을 비롯한 네 개의 종목 중 사격의 진종오 선수만 금메달 획득에 성공하면서, 대회 초반 주춤했던 한국 대표팀은, 사격의 김장미 선수의 깜짝 금메달 소식으로 다시 메달 경주에 박차를 가했다.

김장미 선수의 금메달 하루 전, 펜싱 신아람 선수가 “멈춰버린 1초”의 오심 판결로 울분의 패배를 삼켜야 했던 것이 어쩌면 사격 대표팀의 이후 선전에 영향을 끼쳤는지 모른다. 이 후 한국 펜싱 선수들은 신아람 선수의 에페 단체전 메달을 포함해서 올림픽 역대 최고 성적인 금메달 2개, 은메달 1 그리고 동메달 3개를 일궈냈다.

유도에서도 기대주였던 왕기춘 선수가 메달 획득에 실패하면서, 김재범 선수가 81킬로그램 이하 급에서 획득한 하나의 금메달이상의 성적을 기대하는 사람은 적었다. 하지만, 90킬로그램 이하 급의 송대남 선수는 당초 힘들 것으로 예상됐던 금메달 획득에 성공했다.

이 밖에서 복싱의 한순철 선수를 비롯한 많은 선수들이 예상 밖의 좋은 성적을 거두면서, 이번 런던 올림픽에서의 한국팀에 대한 기대는 점점 더 커지고 있다.