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» Olympics 2012
Korea's up-and-down day
Publication Date : 01-08-2012
South Korean ace swimmer Park Tae-hwan captured silver in the 200-metre freestyle at the London 2012 Olympics Monday.
In the men’s 200m freestyle final, Park marked 1 minute and 44.93 seconds, behind the winner Yannick Agnel of France, who ended the race with 1:43.13.
Park’s record was 0.13 seconds slower than his personal best, also the Asian high, that he had set in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games where he clinched the gold medal.
Park has become the first South Korean male swimmer to win two medals in back-to-back Olympics. Park won silver behind American Michael Phelps in the 200m free at the Beijing Games.
It was also his second medal in London after winning silver in the 400m free. The 200m free is not Park’s major event.
Sun Yang of China, gold medalist in the 400m free, shared second place with Park in the 200m free. France’s Yannick Agnel clinched a double gold at the London Olympics after winning the men’s 400m relay Sunday. American swimming star Ryan Lochte failed to win a medal in the 200m free after placing fourth.
South Korea fell victim to yet another officiating dispute Monday. Epee fencer Shin A-lam had a controversial defeat in the women’s semifinals and then lost the bronze medal round.
Shin and Britta Heidemann of Germany were locked at 5-5 inside the extra minute period. One second left to the end of the extra period, Shin allowed a hit, and her coaching staff claimed the winning assault was made after time was up, saying the clock had stopped with one second remaining.
During the final second, Heidemann attempted three attacks, all of which Shin fended off, and then, hit the Korean fencer on her fourth attempt.
The jury deliberated for nearly 30 minutes before awarding Heideman the win. If the clock had worked and the extra period ended in a tie, Shin would have advanced to the final.
The 25-year-old Shin collapsed onto the floor in tears. She later lost to China’s Sun Yujie in the bronze medal bout.
South Korea’s favorite judoka Wang Ki-chun failed to claim his first Olympic gold in London.
The 2008 Beijing Olympics silver medalist fell to Russia’s Mansur Isaev in the semifinals and then lost to Ugo Legrand of France in the bronze medal match.
Wang injured a ligament in his right elbow during the match in the round of 32 against Rinat Ibragimov of Kazakhstan.
In other sports, the women’s handball team edged Denmark 25-24 for its second straight victory in the group stage. It was South Korea’s first win over Denmark in the Olympics in five matches. Two of the previous defeats happened during the finals at the 1996 Atlanta and 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
The women’s volleyball squad defeated winless Serbia 3-1 (25-12, 25-16, 16-25, 25-21) for one win and one loss.
In terms of medals, North Korea rose to fourth place with three gold and one bronze, as South Korea dropped from fourth to sixth with two gold, two silver and two bronze medals.
China remained on top with nine gold medals, followed by the U.S. with five gold medals.