Wrestler hit with S. Korea’s 1st judging controversy, still wins bronze
South Korea was hit with its first officiating controversy at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on Sunday, but the central figure in the mess bounced back to win a bronze medal.
The judging dispute came from men's Greco-Roman wrestling, where Kim Hyeon-woo lost to Roman Vlaslov of Russia in the round of 16 in the 75kg division.
Down 6-3 with the clock ticking down, Kim executed a throw that he thought should have given him four points and a 7-6 lead.
Instead, Kim only received two points. His head coach, An Han-bong, challenged the ruling, but even after a video review, the original call stood.
With Kim losing the challenge, Vlasov was awarded an extra point and won the match 7-5.
In the immediate aftermath, South Korean officials said they'd take steps to appeal. But following a meeting with the head of the referees, they accepted the outcome and decided not to appeal.
They also said an appeal was unlikely to overturn the match result.
And in a valiant effort, Kim survived repechage and beat Bozo Starcevic of Croatia for a bronze with a dislocated elbow.
He suffered the injury when he landed awkwardly on his right forearm as Starcevic rolled the South Korean onto his side. Kim battled through the pain and executed a throw that gave him the decisive two points for a 6-4 victory.
Kim won the 2012 Olympic gold in the 66kg event and captured the 2013 world title in his new weight class, beating Vlasov in the final.
Vlasov is also a force in 76kg, as the reigning Olympic gold medalist and 2015 world champion.
It was just the bad luck of the draw that the two faced each other so early in the competition. There are no seeds in Olympic wrestling, and every competitor is thrown into the pool for a random draw.
As fate would have it, Vlasov went on to win his second straight Olympic gold by beating Mark Overgaard Madsen of the Netherlands.
With Kim's hard-fought bronze, South Korea's medal tally stands at six gold, three silver and five bronze, good for 10th place.
Other South Korean medal hopefuls came up short on Sunday.
In fencing, the men's epee team lost to Hungary 45-42 in the quarterfinals. Park Sang-young, the individual champion from last week, tried to carry the nation to the team title, but his efforts came up short against the savvy Hungarians.
South Korea finished fifth after beating Venezuela and then Switzerland.
South Korean epee fencer Jung Jin-sun reacts to the defeat to Hungary in the men's team event at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on Aug. 14, 2016. (Yonhap) South Korean epee fencer Jung Jin-sun reacts to the defeat to Hungary in the men's team event at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on Aug. 14, 2016. (Yonhap)
In shooting, Kim Jong-hyun failed to qualify for the final in the men's 50m rifle 3 positions. He won the silver in this event four years ago.
Last week, Kim captured silver in the 50m rifle prone, much to the surprise of the shooter himself because it hadn't been his main event. Kim had been gearing up for the 50m rifle 3 positions instead but ended up finishing 16th in the qualification, with only the top eight advancing.
In golf, An Byeong-hun was the top South Korean as he tied for 11th, after submitting a three-under 68 on Sunday for a four-round total of six-under 278.
He had two eagles and three birdies that were negated by four bogeys.
Wang Jeung-hun ended up tied for 43rd after shooting a four-under 67. It took him to two-over 286.
South Korea reached the semifinals in the men's table tennis team event on Sunday. South Korea defeated Sweden 3-1 in the quarters and set up a date with China in the semifinals. South Korea won bronze and silver in each of the past two Olympics.
The men's team remains the last South Korean hope for a table tennis medal here.
In badminton's mixed doubles, Ko Sung-hyun and Kim Ha-na were eliminated in the quarterfinals, as Xu Chen and Ma Jin of China beat them 2-0 (21-17, 21-18).
Two South Koreans finished well out of contention in women's 75kg weightlifting. Lee Hui-sol finished fifth at 275 kg total (122 kg in snatch, 153 kg in clean and jerk) and Son Young-hee was in sixth with 273 kg (118 kg in snatch and 155 kg in clean and jerk).
North Korea's Kim Kuk-hyang got the silver medal with 306 kg, with 131 kg in snatch and 175 kg in clean and jerk. It was North Korea's fourth weightlifting medal in Rio.
Source: Yonhap News Agency