Korean Boccia duo beat Japan to take gold in mixed pairs

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Korean Boccia duo beat Japan to take gold in mixed pairs

From left, Choi Ye-jin, Jeong Ho-won and Kim Han-soo celebrate their mixed boccia pairs sport class three gold medals on the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics podium at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on Saturday. [NEWS1]

From left, Choi Ye-jin, Jeong Ho-won and Kim Han-soo celebrate their mixed boccia pairs sport class three gold medals on the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics podium at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on Saturday. [NEWS1]

 
Team Korea took gold in mixed pairs boccia class three at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, beating Japan in the gold medal match on Saturday.  
 
This is Korea's ninth gold medal in the sport. Korea is a boccia powerhouse, and has now won gold at nine Paralympics in a row, starting with the 1988 Seoul Games.  
 
Choi Ye-jin and Jeong Ho-won were the ones to do it this year, taking three points in the first end then another point in the second end. Japan caught up, winning a point in the third end then adding three more points in the fourth end to tie the score, pushing the match to an extended fifth end.
 
In the fifth end, the two Korea veterans were the ones to emerge victorious after a challenging match.  
 
Jeong Ho-won, left and Choi Ye-jin react after winning the mixed pairs boccia sport class three gold medal match at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics on Saturday at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo. [JOINT PRESS CORPS]

Jeong Ho-won, left and Choi Ye-jin react after winning the mixed pairs boccia sport class three gold medal match at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics on Saturday at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo. [JOINT PRESS CORPS]

 
Class three boccia players compete using ramps with the help of a sport assistant as they have significantly limited function in their arms and legs and poor or no trunk control and are also unable to consistently grasp or release the ball.  
 
Boccia is an event with no Olympic equivalent and is one of the tensest sports to take place at the Games. It is similar to the winter Olympic sport of curling in that players throw six balls at a white target ball called the jack, and the pair that finishes with the ball closest to the jack scores at each end.
 
Each side is given six chances per end, after which a point is awarded for each ball closer to the jack than the opponent's.  
 
Jeong Ho-won, center, celebrates with his sport assistant and coach after winning the mixed pair boccia sport class three gold medal on Saturday at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo. [JOINT PRESS CORPS]

Jeong Ho-won, center, celebrates with his sport assistant and coach after winning the mixed pair boccia sport class three gold medal on Saturday at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo. [JOINT PRESS CORPS]

 
Jeong is the captain of the Korean boccia team and was seen encouraging his teammate Choi throughout the match, shouting "You got this" and "You can do it."
 
At the Tokyo Games, Choi became a three-time Paralympian with two gold medals and one silver medal to her name. Jeong is a four-time Paralympian with three gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze medal to his name.    
 
Saturday's gold was Korea's second at the Games.

BY YUN SO-HYANG [yun.sohyang@joongang.co.kr]
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