Jang’s bid for more Korean gold in judo falls shortSouth Korea’s Jang Sung-ho won silver in the men’s under-100-kilogram class in judo, losing the gold-medal match to Ihar Makarau of Belarus in a five-minute bout.
Jang had won three of four matches by scoring an Ippon (the maximum score). Expectations were high for the 1.9-meter (6-foot, 3-inch) athlete to overcome the 1.8-meter Makarau and become the next Lee Won-hee, who’d won gold in the under-73-kilogram class earlier in the week. Instead, Jang lost by seven points to Makarau. Michael Jurack of Germany won the bronze.
At a press conference, Jang said the shorter and stouter Makarau’s “position did not suit me at all... I thought I would be strong enough to win the gold medal, but I was not prepared to fight him.”
Korean media quoted him as saying that he was particularly disappointed because he’d intended to propose to his girlfriend with a gold medal. He now turns his attention to the 2006 Asian Games.
Other Korean judo athletes did not fare as well. Lee So-yeon was eliminated by Yurisel Laborde of Cuba in the repechage round of the under 78-kilogram class. Kim Sung-beom lost to Paolo Bianchessi of Italy in the men’s over-100-kilogram class.
Choi Sook-ie lost to Tea Donguzashvili of Russia in the women’s over-78-kilogram class.
by Joe Yong-hee