Korean welterweight secures at least a bronze medalKim Jung-joo secured at least a bronze Sunday by advancing to the semifinal in the 69-kilogram division of men’s welterweight boxing.
Kim beat Juan Camilo Novoa Aguinaga of Colombia 25-23 in the quarterfinal. Even if he loses, Kim is guaranteed the bronze because two bronzes are awarded in Olympic boxing. It will be Korea’s first boxing medal in eight years, since Lee Seung-bae won a silver medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Kim outboxed Novoa Aguinaga to a 5-2 lead in the first round. But Novoa Aguinaga managed to narrow the gap to 9-7 with some powerful punching in the second round.
Kim later extended his lead to 18-13 with a string of left hooks to his opponent’s head. Kim had a tough time fighting the Colombian and was even knocked down in the middle of the final round.
Among the wild Colombian supporters, Kim’s sister was all alone, waving Korea’s flag and shouting for Kim. His other sister cheered for him in Seoul. Both of Kim’s parents died when he was a teenager, so he was raised by his two sisters.
Kim will fight Lorenzo Aragon Armenteros of Cuba on Friday.
Jo Seok-hwan, another medal hopeful in the men’s 57-kilogram division, faces Viorel Simion of Romania in the quarterfinals today.
Hong Moo-won, who advanced to the quarterfinals of the flyweight 48-kilogram division Sunday, faces Yan Bhartelemy Varela of Cuba tomorrow.
by Joe Eun-hye