Have a very sporty Chuseok

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Have a very sporty Chuseok

International football


Hwang Hee-chan of Wolverhampton Wanderers [REUTERS/YONHAP]

Hwang Hee-chan of Wolverhampton Wanderers [REUTERS/YONHAP]

 
Korea vs. Mongolia — Friday, 8 p.m.
The Taeguk Ladies begin their bid to qualify for the 2023 Australia-New Zealand Women’s World Cup, with a second game against Uzbekistan to follow on Thursday. 
 
Wolves vs. Brentford — Saturday, 8:30 p.m.
Hwang Hee-chan is expected to make his second appearance for Wolverhampton Wanderers and his first appearance at Molineux Stadium. 
Watch: SPOTV
 
Mainz vs. Freiburg — Saturday, 10:30 p.m.
This Bundesliga game could be a chance to see Lee Jae-sung and Jeong Woo-yeong face each other in Germany for the first time.
Watch: Tving
 
Bordeaux vs. St-Etienne — Sunday, 4:00 a.m.
Hwang Ui-jo has also been out of action since returning from international duty but could rejoin Bordeaux for this Ligue 1 game.
Watch: Coupang Play
 
Mallorca vs. Villareal — Sunday, 9 p.m.
Lee Kang-in faces a tough week as Mallorca also face Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Watch: AfreecaTV
 
Tottenham vs. Chelsea — Monday, 12:30 a.m.
Whether Son Heung-min will play against Chelsea remains unclear, but the derby could be the striker’s first time playing since Sept. 2. 
Watch: SPOTV
 
Fenerbahce vs. Istanbul Basaksehir — Sunday, 1 a.m.
Kim Min-jae is set to make his first appearance in the Istanbul derby as Fenerbahce prepare to take on their local rivals.
Watch: SPOTV
 
Tottenham vs. Wolves — Thursday, 3:45 a.m.
If Son is back on form, this EFL Cup game could be the first opportunity in years to see two Korean Premier League strikers face each other.
Watch: SPOTV




K League
 
Yoon Bit-garam of Ulsan Hyundai [YONHAP]

Yoon Bit-garam of Ulsan Hyundai [YONHAP]


Jeonbuk vs. Suwon Bluewings — Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
The Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors are looking to break a four-game winless streak against a tough Suwon Samsung Bluewings.
Watch: SBS
 
Gwangju vs. Jeju — Saturday, 4:30 p.m.
Gwangju and Jeju have drawn three times this season and are both in need of a precious three points.
Watch: IB Sports
 
Daegu vs. Ulsan — Saturday, 7 p.m.
Ulsan look to extend their lead, but Daegu are a difficult team to beat this year.
Watch: JTBC G&S
 
Incheon vs. Seongnam — Sunday, 2 p.m.
If Incheon can pick up a win they will be four-for-four against Seongnam this season.
Watch: JTBC G&S


FC Seoul vs. Suwon FC — Sunday, 4:30 p.m.
Seoul will be looking to repeat their March success, when they pulled off a 3-0 win against the No. 3 club.  
Watch: skySports
 
Suwon Bluewings vs. Gangwon — Tuesday, 2 p.m.
Gangwon has proven to be a thorn in the Bluewings’ side this season despite the difference in rank. 
Watch: skySports
 
Gwangu vs. Jeonbuk — Tuesday, 4:30 p.m.
A home advantage could give Gwangju the edge over Jeonbuk for the first time this year.
Watch: skySports
 
Pohang vs. Ulsan — Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Ulsan and Pohang are at a stalemate with both teams looking to break through.
Watch: JTBC G&S
 
Jeju vs. Daegu — Wednesday, 2 p.m.
With two draws and a win for Daegu, Jeju will be looking to level that score this time.
Watch: JTBC G&S
 
Suwon FC vs. Seongnam — Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.
Even though Suwon outranks Seongnam, Seongnam has the edge when it comes to head-to-head record. 
Watch: JTBC G&S
 
FC Seoul vs. Incheon — Wednesday, 7 p.m.
With a new manager in charge, Seoul will be looking to improve their 1-2 scoreline against Incheon this season. 
Watch: JTBC G&S




KBO


Kang Baek-ho of the KT Wiz [NEWS1]

Kang Baek-ho of the KT Wiz [NEWS1]



Saturday to Sunday


Kia Tigers vs. LG Twins
Samsung Lions vs. SSG Landers
KT Wiz vs. NC Dinos
Doosan Bears vs. Kiwoom Heroes
Lotte Giants vs. Hanwha Eagles
 
The KT Wiz will continue their bid to top the KBO for the first time in the club’s short history over Chuseok, with what could be a reasonably tough series against the fifth-place NC Dinos over the weekend.
 
With a 4.5-game lead, the last few weeks of the season may look like a victory lap for KT, but stranger things have happened in the KBO and the Suwon club can’t afford to relax just yet.
 
The weekend series between the third-place Samsung Lions and sixth-place SSG Landers ought to provide some interesting viewing, as will the series between the fourth-place Kiwoom Heroes and seventh-place Doosan Bears, who lead the league over the last 10 games with seven wins.
Watch: KBS, SBS, MBC, SPOTV


Tuesday to Wednesday


NC Dinos vs. Doosan Bears
Kiwoom Heroes vs. SSG Landers
Samsung Lions vs. Lotte Giants
KT Wiz vs. Kia Tigers
LG Twins vs. Hanwha Eagles
 
The top three teams — KT, the LG Twins and Samsung — all have an easy time over Chuseok, facing the bottom three teams on the table.  
 
The far more interesting series will be the match-up between the Heroes and Landers and between the Dinos and Bears.
 
Only 1.5 games separate the Heroes and Landers with just a few weeks left and the postseason spots still a long way from confirmed, so the series between the two playoff contenders will be one to watch.
 
The Dinos and Bears are also separated by 1.5 games, and their series comes with the added weight of some serious history.  
 
The Dinos won their first Korean Series last year, beating perennial contenders Doosan to the title. Both teams dropped out of contention surprisingly early this season, and are making a last-minute push to jump high enough to be in serious contention.
Watch: KBS, SBS, MBC, SPOTV




MLB


Ryu Hyun-jin of the Toronto Blue Jays [YONHAP/AP]

Ryu Hyun-jin of the Toronto Blue Jays [YONHAP/AP]




Blue Jays vs. Twins — Friday to Sunday
Ryu Hyun-jin is expected to take his spot in the Toronto Blue Jays lineup against the Twins over the weekend. Ryu has been on uncertain form, alternating between wins and losses over his last few games.  
After an especially rough outing against the Baltimore Orioles last week, Ryu will be looking to bounce back against the Twins.
Watch: SPOTV
 
Cardinals vs. Padres — Friday to Sunday
Cardinals vs. Brewers — Monday to Thursday
With Kim Kwang-hyun now pitching in relief for the St. Louis Cardinals, there is a chance he could end up taking on former KBO rival Kim Ha-seong of the San Diego Padres.
Watch: SPOTV
 
Rays vs. Tigers — Friday to Sunday
Rays vs. Blue Jays — Monday to Wednesday
Choi Ji-man may have drawn a line under his rocky return from injury with a homer against the Blue Jays on Wednesday. He’ll be looking to carry that momentum into the weekend.
Watch: SPOTV
 
Pirates vs. Marlins — Friday to Sunday
Pirates vs. Reds — Monday to Wednesday
Park Hoy-jun is still trying to find his feet in the majors after being called back up a couple of weeks ago. With a batting average at .167, Park still has a lot to prove.
Watch: SPOTV
 
Padres vs. Giants — Monday to Wednesday
Kim Ha-seong is still struggling to prove himself in San Diego, making it into the starting lineup just five times since the beginning of August. With just a month remaining this season, every game counts for the MLB rookie.
Watch: SPOTV






Golf


Golfer Ko Jin-young [AP/YONHAP]

Golfer Ko Jin-young [AP/YONHAP]




LPGA: Cambia Portland Classic —  Thursday to Sunday  
Ko Jin-young is looking for her second win of the season as she heads to Portland as the highest ranked player in the field. Sixteen other Koreans will compete, but Park In-bee and Kim Sei-young are both choosing to skip Oregon and rest instead.
Watch: JTBC Golf
 
PGA: Fortinet Championship —  Thursday to Sunday  
Kim Si-woo is the only Korean competing as the 2021-22 PGA Tour kicks off at Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa, California, with Im Sung-jae and Lee Kyoung-hoon both opting to rest. Kim starts the season at the deep end, teeing off with world No. 1 Jon Rahm of Spain and Max Homa of the United States.
Watch: JTBC Golf
 
KLPGA: OKSavingsBank Se Ri Pak Invitational —  Friday to Sunday  
The tournament dedicated to the queen of Korean golf returns this year at Sejong Silkriver in Sejong, Cheongju. LPGA Kim Hyo-joo is staying in Korea for the weekend to compete at the tournament where a competitive field will do their best to earn Pak Se-ri’s approval in this stroke play event.
Watch: SBS Golf
 
KPGA: 2021 DGB Financial Group Irvine Open —  Thursday to Sunday  
Seo Yo-seop will look to pick up his third win of the season as the Tour heads to Chilgok, North Gyeongsang, where rain could be an issue.
Watch: JTBC Golf






Ssireum


Ssireum wrestle Lee Tae-hyun [JOONGANG ILBO]

Ssireum wrestle Lee Tae-hyun [JOONGANG ILBO]




Withus Pharmaceutical Chuseok Ssireum Competition — Friday to Wednesday

If you’re looking for something a little more traditional this holiday season, the Chuseok Ssireum Contest is running from Friday to Wednesday at Taean Stadium in Taean, South Chungcheong.
 
Ssireum, a form of traditional Korean wrestling, has strong ties to Korean traditional holidays like Lunar New Year and Chuseok, and local tournaments are held across the country during the holiday season.  
 
These tournaments operate on a last-man-standing basis. Contestants enter the ring until one forces the other’s upper body to touch the ground. That person is then eliminated and another challenger enters the ring.
 
The last man standing when all challengers are defeated is the winner.
 
A total of 200 athletes and staff from 23 ssireum teams will take part in the 2021 tournament, which for social distancing reasons will be held without an audience.
 
The different weight classes will be spread throughout the holiday period, starting with the lightest Taebaek weight class for athletes under 80 kilograms on Friday to the Baekdu weight class for athletes under 140 kilograms on Tuesday.
 
Women’s and team events will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Watch: KBS
 
 
WNBA


Park Ji-su of the Las Vegas Aces [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Park Ji-su of the Las Vegas Aces [SCREEN CAPTURE]




Las Vegas Aces vs. Chicago Sky — Saturday, 9 a.m.
Las Vegas Aces vs. Phoenix Mercury  — Monday, 4 a.m.
 
The Las Vegas Aces wrap up the regular season over Chuseok with games against the Chicago Sky and Phoenix Mercury.
 
Center Park Ji-su, one of the few basketball players ever to have concurrent careers in both Korea and the United States, will continue her campaign with the Aces before returning to Korea to rejoin her WKBL club.
 
Park has had an exceptionally busy year with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the WKBL and WNBA seasons, but her tour of duty in the United States isn’t over yet.  
 
The Las Vegas Aces currently lead the WNBA’s western conference and will advance to the playoffs, which begin just after the Chuseok holidays, on Sept. 23.
 
The Aces will be seeing more of both the Sky and the Mercury in the playoffs, as both teams have already secured their spots.  
 
The Connecticut Sun, Minnesota Lynx, Seattle Storm and Dallas Wings are also guaranteed a spot, with one place still remaining.
 
Basketball fans will have to head online if they want to see Park and the Aces in action, as neither game will be televised in Korea.
 
 
Boxing


Boxer Choi Hyun-mi [YONHAP]

Boxer Choi Hyun-mi [YONHAP]




WBA Super-Featherweight Title Defense Fight — Saturday, 1:50 p.m.
 
Choi Hyun-mi, the World Boxing Association (WBA)’s female super-featherweight title holder since 2013, will defend her title in a fight against Simone Da Silva of Brazil at Dongducheon Sports Center in Dongducheon, Gyeonggi on Saturday.  
 
Da Silva is a 36 year-old verteran with 17 wins in  33 fights under her belt.  
 
Choi is currently the only professional boxing world champion in Korea, having won 18 out of 19 title fights.
 
In December last year, Choi defended her WBA female super-featherweight title in the United States, defeating Colombian Calista Silgado. Choi is the longest title holder in WBA boxing.
 
In 2004, Choi defected from North Korea with her family. Four years later, she won her first featherweight championship against Xu Chun Yan of China at the age of 18, defending that title seven times until 2013.
 
In 2013, she changed her weight division to super-featherweight, winning her first title against Fujin Raika of Japan.
 
Choi has 18 wins with one draw and has knocked out four opponents in her professional career. Her most recent fight, against Terri Harper of Britain, was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Watch: MBN

BY JIM BULLEY, YUN SO-HYANG [jim.bulley@joongang.co.kr]
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