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Son Heung-min tops list of best Korean athletes in 2017

Tottenham Hotspur attacker Son Heung-min was named the top Korean athlete of 2017 in a national survey of the country’s top sports figures.

Gallup Korea said Tuesday that Son won the support of 38.1 percent of respondents in its poll of 1,300 Koreans over the age of 13. Son also came out on top in the 2015 survey.

During the 2016-17 season, Son netted 21 goals in 46 matches, setting a single-season scoring record by a Korean player in Europe.

In the current season, he has picked up where he left off, making seven goals for the Spurs. Last month, Son scored his 20th career English Premier League goal to surpass former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung as the highest-scoring Korean in the English Premier League.

Retired figure skater Kim Yuna placed second with 13.4 percent of votes. Although Kim hasn’t competed since the 2014 Winter Olympics, she has remained an iconic figure off the ice. She is an honorary ambassador for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin drew 12.8 percent of support to rank third. In his first full season since 2014, Ryu went 5-9 in 25 appearances with a 3.77 ERA.

At World Cup, Korea’s base camp will be St. Petersburg

The Korean national football team on Tuesday confirmed St. Petersburg as their base camp for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

“St. Petersburg is quiet and provides a clean environment,” said Cho Jun-heon, public affairs director at the Korea Football Association. “Coach Shin Tae-yong said the most important thing is that players can rest comfortably and peacefully there.”

At the 2018 World Cup, Korea is competing with Germany, Mexico and Sweden in Group F. Germany is the defending champion from 2014.

The Koreans’ World Cup campaign opens on June 18 with a match against Sweden. They will then face Mexico on June 23 and Germany four days later.



Im Sung-jae finishes second in Q-School tournament

Im Sung-jae finished runner-up at the Tour Q-School tournament in Arizona on Sunday.

Im, who started the final round tied for the lead with Lee McCoy, lost his footing after the first half.

Although Im made one last effort with two consecutive victories on the 16th and 17th holes, he came up two shots short of McCoy, the winner of this year’s Tour Q-School.

With six birdies and one bogey in the final round, Im finished the tournament at 26 under par. His runner-up finish has earned him a berth in the first 12 Tour events.

Along with Im, Kim Bio also earned a seed in the 12 tournaments for the upcoming season, making his return for in five years. By shooting nine under par in the final round, Kim finished the tournament tied for seventh.

Chang Yi-keun, the 2017 KPGA Tour’s rookie of the year, finished tied for 80th.

By Kang Yoo-rim
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