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Korea’s Nam stands tall in the world of fencing

Mar 14,2007
The International Fencing Federation yesterday ranked Korean fencer Nam Hyun-hee, shown here in December at the Doha Asian Games, No. 1. [YONHAP]
Nam Hyun-hee is only 154 centimeters (just over 5 feet) tall and got suspended in January for having plastic surgery without prior approval.
But yesterday, the International Fencing Federation released its rankings, and she ranked top in the world for women’s foil. It is the first time a South Korean individual has ever achieved that rank.
Nam won a silver medal last week in the Grand Prix tournament in St. Petersburg, Russia. The medal gave her 52 points for a total of 254 points, putting her 22 points ahead of Russian Rouzavina Ianna.
The national team suspended Nam in January of last year for two years for having plastic surgery without taking official leave from the team training center. However, she was reinstated in March. Nam is a strong candidate to contend for a medal at the upcoming Beijing Olympics next year.
In a phone interview yesterday she said, “I thought that I would rank No. 2 in the second half of the year but it happened faster than that. I am happy, but my final goal is getting a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics.”
Nam was part of the women’s team that won collectively the 2005 Fencing World Championships.
She also won the individual and team gold medal in the foil competition at the Doha Asian Games in December.
Nam is sponsored by the City of Seoul and according to officials is scheduled to take part in 10 international events this year.
The 26-year-old has publicly vowed not to get married until she wins a gold medal in the Olympics.


By Brian Lee JoongAng Daily/Jeong Young-jae Staff Writer [africanu@joongang.co.kr]


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