(From Korea Times)
South Korea has been enthusiastic for the Summer Olympics for 28 years since hosting the 1988 Seoul Games and has posted noticeable results in many sports during that period, bouncing around from fourth to 12th place on the medal table. The country’s athletes made a third consecutive top 10 finish since the Athens Games in 2004 and now seek to extend it to a fourth in Rio de Janeiro.
Such feats were possible because of the 225 medals that the South Koreans have clinched since the 1984 Games. Medals have come from various sports, but not many from the realm of athletics, which tests participants’ fundamental athletic skills such as running, jumping and throwing, and has the most medals up for grabs among Olympic sports.
Except for marathon, South Koreans have never reached the Olympic track and field podium. Hwang Young-cho, who won a gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Games marathon, and Lee Bong-ju, who bagged an Atlanta Games marathon silver medal, are the only athletics medalists for the Republic of Korea, while Sohn Kee-chung and Nam Sung-yong collected a gold and a bronze, respectively, at the 1936 Berlin Games when Korea was under Japanese colonial rule. Read more