2012.1.6 Weekend Picks

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2012.1.6 Weekend Picks

V-League

* All-Star Game
* Suwon Gymnasium, Suwon, Gyeonggi
* Sunday, 1 p.m.

For the first time, the Korean Volleyball Federation (KOVO) will host a joint All-Star Game with players from both the men’s and women’s leagues.

A total of 48 players, who have been selected to play via an online fan vote and recommendations from a KOVO expert committee, will be divided into the K-star and V-star teams.

Female players will compete in sets one and three while male players will play in sets two and four. The team that gets the most points in the combined four sets will win the match. The MVP will receive 3 million won ($2,600) for the honor.

There will plenty of fun events at this All-Star Game, including the “special match,” in which coaches will play on the court while players direct from the sidelines or serve as referees. Fans can also see the “best server contest” after set two.

Figure Skating

* Korea Figure Skating Championship 2012
* Taeneung Ice Rink, northern Seoul
* Friday to Sunday

The National Figure Skating Championship changed its name because the Korea Skating Union decided to promote the tournament as the nation’s preeminent figure skating event.

Divided into three levels (senior, junior and novice), the competition will have local figure skaters not only competing for the national trophy, but also for a pass to the World Figure Skating Championships in Nice, France, and the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Only one male skater and two female skaters can advance to the Worlds, which will be held from March 26 to April 1.

For the Four Continents event, which will be held next month, Korea can send three male and female skaters.

Kwak Min-jung, the bronze medalist in the 2011 Asian Winter Games, will participate in the national championship, while Kim Hae-jin and Lee Dong-won will look defend their titles at the senior level.

Badminton

* 2012 Victor Korea Open Badminton Super Series Premier
* SK Olympic Handball Stadium, southeastern Seoul
* Friday to Sunday

This event could be a preview of the Summer Olympics in London. The Korea Open is one of the five Super Series Premiers sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation. In fact, it has the biggest total purse ($1 million) compared to any other event.

About 350 players from 30 countries participated, with all top-10 badminton athletes taking part. In the men’s singles competition, world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and defending Olympic champion Lin Dan of China are favored to win top honors, while Korea’s Lee Hyun-il, ranked ninth in the world, is looking for an upset.

In the women’s singles competition, Sung Ji-hyun, world No. 7, will take on China’s “three Wangs” - Wang Yihan, Wang Xin and Wang Shixian - to claim the title.

Home crowd favorite Lee Yong-dae, who won gold in the mixed double in the 2008 Olympics, has teamed up with Jung Jae-sung in men’s doubles.
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