South Koreans name smallest squad since 1984

Asian nation set themselves a ‘modest’ target of ten gold medals

00:00 July 12, 2012

Seoul: South Korea will send 245 athletes to compete in 22 events at the London Olympics, officials said on Wednesday, the smallest number since 210 attended the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

But the Korea Olympic Committee (KOC) remained upbeat about its target of securing at least ten golds and a finish inside the top ten in the overall medal tally.

“We have trained and prepared very hard to achieve our goal,” said team chief Lee Ki-heung as he was presented with the national flag in a ceremony at Olympic Hall in eastern Seoul.

The South failed to qualify in basketball, tennis, equestrian events and canoeing. Its national sport, baseball, is not an Olympic event.

The KOC said the flag-bearer at the opening ceremony would be Yoon Kyung-shin, a veteran of the men’s handball team who will be attending his fifth summer Olympics.

The 39-year-old, who will be the oldest South Korean athlete in London, was also the flag-bearer at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian games.

South Korea has ranked among the top ten in medal standings in five of the past six summer Olympics.