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52% of PyeongChang Winter Olympics tickets are sold

More than half of the tickets for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics have been sold, the local Olympics organizing committee said Sunday.

“Around 555,000 tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as sports competitions, had been sold as of Friday,” the organizing committee said. The sales account for 52 percent of the committee’s sales target of 1.07 million, according to the committee. The Winter Games are scheduled to run from Feb. 9-25.

The sales rate reached 31 percent in early November before the Olympic torch relay boosted offline ticket sales, the committee noted.

Ticket sales may pick up further down the road, given the accelerating sales rates shown ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where the final rate topped 90 percent, the committee also said.

Tickets for short track and figure skating have been especially popular.

“Ticket sales for the PyeongChang Olympics are gaining traction toward the final goal of selling out,” said Kim Joo-ho, the head of the committee’s promotion body.


Former pitcher Lee Sung-min given suspended jail term

Former baseball pitcher Lee Sung-min received a suspended jail term on Friday for his involvement in a match-fixing scheme.

The Uijeongbu District Court handed down an eight-month sentence, suspended for two years, for the 27-year-old former pro, along with 160 hours of community service.

Lee was charged with receiving cash in exchange for deliberately issuing a first-inning walk while pitching for the NC Dinos in July 2014. He later pitched for the Lotte Giants but remained unsigned for the 2017 season.

A broker involved in the scheme surnamed Kim got a one-year term suspended for two years, plus 100 hours of community service.

The court said Lee argued that Kim made false statements during the trial, but noted that Kim actually risked a jail term by confessing to match fixing and had no grounds to testify against Lee out of spite.



Assan KO’s opponent in first international appearance

Abdoulaye Assan, known by his Korean name Lee Heuk-san, picked up his first international match by defeating Baba Kazuhiro in a knockout victory in the third round on Saturday.

Assan earned points in the first round with one-two straights, taking advantage of his height and long reach. But beginning in the second round, Kazuhiro got more aggressive, as he got closer to Assan throughout the fight. But with one uppercut and a hook in the third round, Assan managed to continue his no-loss record of five wins and one tie.

“I really wanted a KO victory and I’m glad I kept that promise,” said Assan.

It was the first international match for both boxers, since Assan made his professional debut in 2016 and since Kazuhiro made his debut in 2013.

By Kang Yoo-rim
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