South Korea misses Olympic gold medal target but praises no clash with Japan

South Korea won six gold medals, four from archery, and ranked 15th in the Olympic medal count. The team had aimed to claim 10 gold after snaring nine gold in Rio.

The South Korean Olympic team said that the team fell short of the gold medals target but boasted no diplomatic clash with the host Japan during the Games.   -  REUTERS

The South Korean Olympic team said that the team fell short of the gold medals target but boasted no diplomatic clash with the host Japan during the Games.

"This Olympics, I feel pretty regretful, especially about our results," said Lee Kee-heung, president of Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KSOC), wrapping up the country's performance at Tokyo Games.

South Korea won six gold medals, four from archery, and ranked 15th in the Olympic medal count. The team had aimed to claim 10 gold after snaring nine gold in Rio.

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Jang In-hwa, chef de mission of KSOC, said the team "suffered a slump with no gold" in taekwondo and judo, in which it traditionally performs well.

However, South Korea was pleased that the Tokyo Olympics did not create any diplomatic incidents with neighbouring Japan. Lee, from the South Korean delegation, said the Olympics proceeded without big trouble.

Shortly before the start of the Games, South Korean President Moon Jae-in scrapped his visit to Tokyo over a Japanese diplomat's inappropriate remarks.

Tokyo Olympics: South Korea removes banners at Olympic village after IOC ruling

Around the Tokyo Games emerged South Korea's anti-Japanese grievances over a map's reference to disputed islets, and the quality of Japanese fish and produce following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. It eventually brought radioactive detectors to Japan to screen food for its own food programme.

South Korea displayed banners with a historic reference to a 16th-century war with Japan at the Olympic village, but at the request of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), removed them before the start of the Games.

While thanking Japanese authorities for support, Lee, an IOC member, said it was an "achievement of sports diplomacy" for South Korea that IOC had decided to ban Japan's "Rising Sun" flag, a symbol of Japan’s imperialist past.

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