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Veterans, rising stars tapped for women’s Olympic team

The Korea Handball Federation announced on Wednesday that it has finalized the 14-player roster for the women’s handball team that will play in the Rio Olympics.

What is notable about the team is that it’s a mix of veterans as well as rookies. Some of the veterans of the team include goalkeeper Oh Young-ran and Woo Sun-hee, key players during Korea’s run to grab silver in the 2004 Olympics at Athens. Included in the roster are also the national team’s aces Kim O-na and Ryu Eun-hee. Kim was a member of the Korean women’s team that earned a bronze medal during the 2008 Beijing Olympics along with Oh.

Rising stars and rookies such as Jung Yu-ra, Kim Jin-yi and Yu So-jeong are also on the roster. The trio played for the Korean national team during the 2015 World Women’s Handball Championship.

The national team will convene at the Taeneung Training Center on July 2 to kick off their final preparation for the Summer Games. Korea, ranked 10th in the world, is assigned to Group B along with No. 2 Russia, No. 9 France, No. 14 Netherlands, No. 19 Sweden and No. 29 Argentina. The top four teams will advance to the quarterfinals.

By Choi Hyung-jo


Veteran Michael Phelps is headed to fifth Olympics

OMAHA, Nebraska - Michael Phelps is heading back to the Olympics.

So is Missy Franklin.

Phelps, the most decorated athlete in Olympic history, held off a stiff challenge from Tom Shields to win the 200-meter butterfly at the U.S. swimming trials Wednesday night. Phelps whipped around to look at his time - a bit slower than he probably would have liked - and held up his right hand.

Yep, it’s Olympics No. 5, making him the first male swimmer to compete in that many Summer Games.

Franklin, meanwhile, turned in one of the gutsiest performances of her career to earn a spot for Rio in the 200 freestyle. One night after she struggled to seventh in the 100 backstroke - an event she won four years ago in London - there was plenty of speculation that she’d be hard-pressed to qualify for any individual events at these games.

Franklin herself sounded as though she’d be happy just getting on the team as a relay swimmer.

Turns out, she’ll be busier than that.

While Katie Ledecky romped to victory in the 200 freestyle, earning a second individual event at the Olympics, Franklin rallied over the second half of the race to claim the second spot. Ledecky touched in 1:54.88, following up her easy victory in the 400-meter freestyle.

Franklin was next at 1:56.18, edging out Leah Smith by just under a half-second. Allison Schmitt, the defending gold medalist, settled for fourth but that will at least be good enough to get another star from the London Games on the team as a relay swimmer.

Phelps, who retired after the last Olympics but soon reversed his decision, took the 200 fly in 1:54.84 - far off the world record of 1:51.51 he set at the 2009 world championships while wearing one of the high-tech suits that have since been banned.

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