Friday, September 7, 2012

Paralympic: Team Korea’s golden news

Optimism prevails with Team Korea’s golden

South Korean archers, from left, Kim Ran-sook, Ko Hee-sook and Lee Hwa-sook bite their gold medals after beating the defending champion China in the women’s team recurve final at the Royal Artillery Barracks at the 2012 London Paralympics, Wednesday. / Yonhap

South Korea’s Paralympians added gold medals in archery and swimming Wednesday, taking the nation’s tally to six golds, five silvers and six bronzes. Before the games the team set a target of 10 golds in London.

The “Sook Sisters” Kim Ran-sook, Ko Hee-sook and Lee Hwa-sook won the nation’s first title in the women’s archery team recurve, defeating China 199-193 in the final.

At the Royal Artillery Barracks, Team Korea achieved its long-coveted goal of topping the Paralympics podium after taking bronze and silver in Athens and Beijing, respectively.

Leading from the start, the Korean archers managed to remain ahead of their opponents throughout and the trio’s last three arrows hit 8, 9 and 9 to put the result beyond doubt.

Lee played a key role, encouraging her younger “sisters” throughout. Although the 46-year-old veteran came second to China’s Yan Huilian in the women’s individual recurve final Tuesday, losing 6-4, she came back strong for the team competition.

Meanwhile, swimmer Lim Woo-geun was victorious in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke–SB5, setting an Asian record of 1 minute 34.06 seconds at the Aquatics Center. It is Korea’s first Paralympic gold medal in swimming since Kim Jong-woo won the men’s 200-meter backstroke-C3 at the 1988 Seoul Paralympics.

Lim’s dream to be on the Paralympic podium finally came true after failing in his first attempt in Beijing where he finished fourth.

“I couldn’t think of anything else but winning the competition,” Kim said. “I was so determined not to go back home empty-handed this time.”

The games will end on Sunday, where Team Korea is participating in 14 events with 88 athletes competing.

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