Korean sharp shooters strike gold at Asiad

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Korean sharp shooters strike gold at Asiad

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Korean men’s 50-meter rifle prone team members, from left, Kim Jong-hyun, Kim Hak-man and Han Jin-seop, wave to the crowd on the medal podium after winning gold and setting an Asian record with 1,785 points yesterday. Kim Hak-man added another gold in the individual 50-meter rifle prone event later in the day. By Kim Sung-ryong


Kim Hak-man earned two gold medals as the national shooting squad continued its strong performance at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. Kim teamed up with Kim Jong-hyun and Han Jin-seop to win the men’s 50-meter rifle prone team event and set a new Asian record. Kim Hak-man then went onto earn another gold in the individual rifle prone later in the day.

The men’s 50-meter rifle prone team combined for an Asian record score of 1,785 points to edge China (1,774) and Kazakhstan (1,771) at the Aoti Shooting Range in Guangzhou, China. Kim scored 698.3 points for his gold in the individual event, edging Yuriy Melsitov of Kazakhstan (697.9) and Hui Tian of China (697.4).

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The three Korean shooters all ranked in the top three in the qualifying rounds, but Kim was the only competitor of the three to reach the podium.

“I did not perform my best in the finals and I think that was the case with the other shooters as well,” said Kim in a post-match interview. “I just think that I was a bit more lucky today.

“Having earned a gold medal in the team event earlier in the day, I didn’t feel as much pressure going into the individual event.”

The women’s team, consisting of Kim Jung-mi, Kwon Na-ra and Lee Yun-chae, also placed first in the 50-meter rifle prone event. Korean shooters combined for a total of 1,775 points to defeat Thailand (1,763) and China (1,760) in the finals.

Wang Chengyi of China won the women’s individual 50-meter rifle prone event and none of the Korean female shooters won individual medals on the day.

Shooting events continue today with the women’s 25-meter pistol individual and team, with the men’s 10-meter running target individual and team competitions also taking place at the Aoti Shooting Range today.

The men’s 25-meter rapid-fire air pistol team also won a silver medal to bring the total to three gold and one silver medals on the day. In four days of competition, Korea has earned eight golds, two silvers and two bronze. Korea has already surpassed its previous best of seven golds earned at the 1986 Seoul and 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games.

Meanwhile, the national judo team added more medals from Wang Ki-chun and Kim Joo-jin in the men’s competitions. Kim Jan-di and Kim Kyung-ok also added to the medal tally in the women’s competitions.

Wang, the top ranked judoka in the under-73 kilogram (kg) weight class, cruised through the earlier rounds before losing to Hiroyuki Akimoto of Japan in the gold medal match at Huagong Gymnasium. Kim Joo-jin defeated Mirzohid Farmonov of Uzbekistan in the under-66 kilogram division gold medal match.

Korea has been dominant in the judo event at the 2010 Asiad with Kim Soo-hwan (over-100 kg), Hwang Hee-tae (under-100 kg), Kim Jae-bum (under-81 kg) and Kim Joo-jin placing atop their respective weight classes. Wang and Kim Kyu-wan, who earned a bronze in the under-90 kg division, are the only male Korean judokas to fail to earn golds.

On the final day of judo competitions today, Korea has another strong candidate in Choi Min-ho in the under-60 kg division. Choi is a 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medalist.

In the women’s events, Kim Jan-di came up short against Kaori Matsumoto of Japan in the under-57 kg division to earn a silver medal, and Kim Kyung-ok won a bronze over He Hongmei of China in the under-52 kg class.


By Jason Kim [jason@joongang.co.kr]

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