Jubby Kumar, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh
The Summer Olympic Games are the biggest multi-sports event that is held once in every four years with more than 200 nations participating. The 32nd Olympics was held in Tokyo from 23rd July to 8th August 2021 after getting delayed by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The biggest stage for the athletes was set amid the rising concerns but the event took place successfully due to the strong will and hopes of the athletes and the host nation Japan.
From South Korea, 237 athletes qualified for various sporting events. The flag bearers for Korea in the opening ceremony were Kim Yeon-koung (Volley ball player) and Hwang Sun-woo (Swimmer). The athletes were ready to challenge themselves to perform their best as their training, dedication and abilities were put to test. The best competing against the best. The pressure was high but the athletes did not going to give up at all so let’s take a look at South Korea’ s performance in the 32nd edition of the Summer Olympic Games.
Badminton and Modern Pentathlon
According to the BWF ranking, two pairs in Women’s doubles took part in the Tokyo Olympics and the pair of Kim So-yeong and Kong Hee-yong won the Bronze medal (21-10, 21-17) against their country mate pair of Lee So-hee and Shin Seung-chan.
In the Modern Pentathlon, Jun Woong-tae won a Bronze with a total of 1470 points in the five events, Fencing (Epee one touch), Swiming (200 m Freestyle), Riding (Show Jumping), Combined: shooting (10 m Air Pistol)/running (3200 m).
Judo, Taekwondo and Shooting
Kim Min-jung created the Olympic record by scoring 38 points along with Batsarahkina of ROC in the Women’s 25 m air pistol and won a silver medal for South Korea. South Korea pulled 3 medals (1 Silver, 2 Bronze) from their national games Taekwondo.
In Kyo-don won a bronze medal in (Men’s +80 Kg) by defeating Ivan Trajkovic of Slovenia by 5-4 and Jung Jun also won a bronze medal in (Men’s 58 Kg) by defeating Salim of Hungary by (46-16). Lee Da-bin settled for a silver medal in the Women’s +67 Kg category. 3 medals came for South Korea from Judo (1 Silver, 2 Bronze).
An Ba-ul (Men’s 66 kg category) defeated Lombardo of Italy by (100-000) and An Chang-rim (Men’s 73 Kg category) defeated Orujov of Azerbaijan and bagged 2 Bronze medals for Korea. Cho Gu-ham (Men’s 100 Kg) won a silver medal by coming 2nd to Aaron Wolf of Japan in the final bout.
Two time World Champion gymnast Shin Jea-hwan brought laurels for Korea by winning a Gold medal in a intense tie breaker in the finals of men’s vault finals against Denis Ablyazin of ROC due to higher individual score of 14.833. It is Korea’s second gold in the event after Yang Hak-seon’s in the London Olympics 2012.
Yeo Seong-jeong created history by becoming the first Korean as well as the first Asian woman to win a medal in gymnastics , with a total score of 14.733 she bagged the bronze medal.
Fencing (Sabre and Epee)
The Fencing squad brought the most medals (5 medals: 3 Bronze, 1 Silver, 1 Gold) for South Korea combining all the events. Women’s team Sabre consisting of Choi Soo-yeon, Seo Ji-yeon, Kim Ji-yeon and Yoon Ji-su took the bronze medal by defeating team Italy by a score of (45-42).
Men’s team Epee consisting of Kweon Young-jun, Ma Segeon, Park Sang-young and Song Jae-ho defeated team China by (45-42) to win the bronze medal. The Women’s team Epee came second in the finals against team Estonia and took home the silver medal.
In the Men’s individual Sabre event Kim Jung-hwan took the bronze by winning against Sandro Bazadze of Georgia with a score of (15-11). The Men’s team sabre clinched the second straight Gold medal by crushing team Italy by (45-26) the team consisted of members Kim Jung-hwan, Oh Sang-uk, Gu Bon-gil and Kim Jun-ho.
The South Korean archers continued with their dominant performance as they won 4 Gold medals in the various archery events. The Men’s team consisting of Oh Jin-hyek, Kim Je-deok and Kim Woo-jin and the women’s archery team consisting of Jang Min-hee, Kang Chae-young and An San won in straight sets by (6-0) against Chinese Taipei and ROC respectively and clinched the Gold medals.
The duo of An San and Kim Je-deok defeated team Netherlands in the Archery Mixed event and won a Gold medal for Korea. An San created history as the first Korean woman to win 3 Gold medals in the Summer Olympics in the individual, women’s and the mixed categories.
Korea’s journey in the 32nd summer Olympics was full of ups and downs. There were moments of pride and joy as many of the Korean athletes realised their dreams of winning the medals and finishing the contest on the podium. The Korean athletes won a total of 20 medals (6-Gold, 4-Silver and 10 Bronze) in the Tokyo Olympics and finished 16th on the medal tally with the hopes of performing even better in the upcoming Paris Olympics which is scheduled in 2024.
Fun Fact: Did you know there were several K-Pop songs that were played during the Olympics. Watch this video to see which songs were played.
Tell us your favourite Tokyo Olympics moments or highlights in the comments.