Sports BriefsFIGURE SKATING
Korea secures berth in team program at Winter Games
Korea earned its berth for the team figure skating event at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics on Sunday.
The top 10 countries in the team standings, based on points earned from seven events in the 2017-18 season, including the ISU Grand Prix, World Championships and Four Continents, are given a spot to compete.
Based on the standings, the qualifying countries include, in order of ranking, Canada, Russia, the United States, Japan, China, Italy, France, Germany, Israel and South Korea.
Russia, though, will not be allowed to compete following a ban by the International Olympic Committee for systematic doping.
The team competition is the newest figure skating event at the Olympics, having started at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. Points are accumulated from performances by male and female individuals, pairs and ice dancing teams in a separate team program.
By Kang Yoo-rim
Olympic torch will grace top of Lotte World Tower
Korea’s tallest building will display a giant LED torch until the PyeongChang Olympics end in March, the organizing committee of the Winter Games said Sunday.
In an event held earlier in the day with the PyeongChang Organizing Committee and Lotte Group, which built and operates Lotte World Tower, Lee Hee-beom, head of the committee, and Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin lit up the LED Olympic torch at the top of the tower in Jamsil, southern Seoul.
The display is aimed at promoting the Games, and boosting sales at the department store and duty-free shop in Lotte World Tower.
The PyeongChang Winter Olympics open on Feb. 9 and run through Feb. 25. The PyeongChang Paralympics are scheduled for March 9 to 18.
Women’s squad to face Japan in 2018 Asian Cup
Korea will face defending champion Japan at the top Asian women’s football tournament next year.
Korea ended up in Group B of the Asian Football Confederation’s 2018 Women’s Asian Cup along with Japan, Australia and Vietnam in a draw held Saturday in Jordan, the host of the quadrennial competition. In 2014, Japan defeated Australia for the title.
Australia, the 2010 Asian Cup winner, is currently the top-ranked nation at No. 6, followed by Japan at No. 8. Korea is 15th, and Vietnam is 31st. Group A features Jordan (No. 50), China (No. 13), Thailand (No. 29) and the Philippines (No. 70).
Korea has never won the Women’s Asian Cup, which was first held in 1975. Their best performance to date remains a third-place finish in 2003, and they have placed fourth three times.
The 2018 Women’s Asian Cup is scheduled for April 6 to 20. It also doubles as the final Asian qualifier for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, with the top five nations qualifying for the Cup.
The top two teams from the two groups will reach the semifinals, and the third-place teams from each group will square off in a fifth-place match.