Taeguk Warriors get easier schedule for Asian Games
Korea will have a lighter schedule in the Asian Games men’s football tournament.
According to the Korea Football Association (KFA), the organizers of the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games conducted their second redraw earlier Friday, after Iraq pulled out of the competition.
Iraq got into an age fraud scandal involving their under-16 national team, and decided to withdraw from the Asian Games.
Korea was initially paired with Bahrain, Malaysia and Kyrgyzstan in Group E. But after the organizers learned that they’d left out the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Palestine, they had to conduct a redraw, after which the UAE ended up in Korea’s group.
The first redraw meant Korea would have to play four group matches in nine days. But with Iraq’s absence, the UAE were moved to Group C with China, East Timor and Syria.
Korea will open their Asian Games title defense against Bahrain on Aug. 15. Before the latest redraw, their first match was scheduled for Aug. 12.
Korea will then play Malaysia on Aug. 17 and Kyrgyzstan on Aug. 20. All matches start at 7 p.m. local time at Si Jalak Harupat Stadium in West Java.
Lee Dae-hoon hopes to dominate taekwondo
Korean taekwondo star Lee Dae-hoon has been winning everything in sight in the lead-up to the Asian Games, and he is hoping the streak doesn’t end at the continental event.
Lee is a two-time defending Asian Games champion in the men’s 63-kilogram (139-pound) division.
He topped the national team trials in the 68kg division, and also won the 68kg title at the first Grand Prix stop of the season in Rome in June. Lee will be a gold medal favorite once again when the Asian Games start in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, on Aug. 18.
“I’ve been doing well in recent events, and that’s given me some confidence,” Lee said. “On the other hand, I have some fear that I may be due for a loss. I just hope it won’t come at the Asian Games.”
Now 26, with a couple of Olympic medals to his credit, Lee said he was just an excited teenager who didn’t know any better when he made his Asian Games debut in 2010. He’s now able to draw on past experience.
“I think I can handle pressure better,” he said. “The most important thing is not to get injured. I am not quite 100 percent yet, but it only matters how I feel once I’m there. I’ll make sure I don’t get overconfident and just take it one match at a time.”
Lee Jung-min retires after 17 years with Lotte Giants
The Lotte Giants announced the retirement of the team’s veteran pitcher Lee Jung-min on Saturday.
Lee, who was drafted by the Giants in 2002, only played for the Giants throughout his 17-year KBO career. Lee started to struggle in the 2017 season, leading him to play fewer games, and in May, he underwent elbow surgery.
“I’m honored to have played for one team throughout the 17 years,” Lee said. “I don’t think that’s an easy thing to do. I’m thankful to the fans.”
By Kang Yoo-rim