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    Default NEWS : Determination and true grit key to Korean success, says Joo-bong



    The Star Online > Sports
    Sunday September 5, 2004
    Determination and true grit key to Korean success, says Joo-bong

    BY RAJES PAUL

    KUALA LUMPUR: The Korean badminton players are self-motivators and that was the key to their success at the Athens Olympics, says doubles coach Park Joo-bong.

    And Joo-bong, who coached the Malaysian doubles players from 1999-2002 and is currently back in the country, felt that the Malaysians lacked the determination to win at Athens.

    South Korea won one gold, two silvers and a bronze medals in badminton at the Athens Games.

    “The Korean players knows what they want and they go the extra mile to achieve it, especially in the Olympics. They persevered in the tough training and they did not complaint. They know how to psyche themselves up,” said Joo-bong.

    “And this is the difference that I see in the Koreans players compare to the players who I have coaches from the other countries, including Malaysia.

    “I know the sports councils and governments in both countries – South Korea and Malaysia – put great emphasis on the Olympics. The coaches go to great length to get them ready. But at the end of the day, the athletes must have that extra to win it.”

    In Athens, former world champions Kim Dong-moon-Ha Tae-kwon defeated teammates Lee Dong-soo-Yoo Yong-sung to win the men's doubles gold medal.

    South Korea won another silver medal through Shon seung-mo, who lost to Indonesian Taufik Hidayat in the men's singles final. Ra Kyung-min-Lee Kyung-won took the women's doubles bronze medal.

    Joo-bong had trained the Korean men's doubles pairs prior to the Athens Games.

    He pointed out that Tae-kwon was a classic case of a player with true grit and sheer determination.

    “He came down with back injury in the ABC (Asian Badminton Championships) in April and he went through a three-month rehabilitation programme,” said Joo-bong.

    “He loves food but he controlled his intake because he had to follow a strict diet to watch his weight. His programme involves aqua training and he was very committed. Seven weeks before the Olympics, he was back on court in tip top physical condition.

    “His mind was set on winning a gold at the Olympics and he worked towards achieving it. He knew what he wanted and he was very determined. The Koreans have strong minds.”

    He added that Dong-moon was also a strong-minded person.

    “He had to be physically very strong because he was taking part in two events – men's doubles and mixed doubles with Kyung-min. He was troubled by a hip injury and spent a lot of time in the gymnasium. But he did not mind the hard work,” said Joo-bong.

    The Koreans Olympic dream, however, were in tatters when Dong-moon-Kyung-min lost in the quarter-finals to Denmark's Jonas Rasmussen-Rikke Olsen.

    But the gritty Dong-moon bounced back to win the doubles gold with Tae-kwon.

    On the performances of Dong-soo-Yong-sung, Joo-bong said: “They are the most senior players in the Korean team and they were competing in their last Olympics.

    “They wanted to prove a point and went through tough physical training without any complaint. And their hard work paid off with another silver medal in the Olympics (they were also the silver medallist at the 2000 Sydney Olympic).”

    The seniors will not be at the next Olympics at Beijing in 2008 but South Korea remained optimistic.

    “The seniors will probably play for another year or two. We are already focusing on grooming the youngsters to take over,” said Joo-bong. “We are confident that we will still be a force to reckon with as long as our future players are committed in training like their seniors and have the inner motivation to excel.”

  2. #2
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    1. Go, go, go.... KOREA!

    2. Why are there so many grammatical errors in this report?

    3. Ha Tae-Kwon loves food... yeah, looks like it.

    4. With all respect to Park Joo Bong, it's always eas(ier) to talk about mental grit, determination, blahx3 after winning, no? The same crop of doubles players (and Shon - but I'm excluding him here coz he was new) played at the last Olympics in Sydney but didn't perform quite as well (silver and bronze from the MD), so would this mean they were less determined the other time? (Don't mind me, I'm being iffy again)

    5. I was in Seoul for three days before returning to hell. Loved it!
    Last edited by Adel; 09-24-2004 at 02:39 AM.

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