Saturday, August 9, 2008

Good as Gold

Congratulations to Minho Choi for getting the gold he wanted so badly at the Athens games four years ago. You've got to love stories like this that vindicate the adage "If at first you don't succeed..." I will keep this guy in mind as I go forward with my writing.

I am sure the broadcasters in Korea were screaming their heads off when Minho won gold in the final in a little over two minutes, defeating the current world number one, Austria's Ludwig Paischer, by ippon, a "throw". (But Ludwig was so gracious, so sportsmanlike, at the end of the match when he had to lift up an overwrought Minho from the floor, hugged him and held up his hand in the air to signify that he had been beaten by the better judoka.) A successful throw signals the immediate end of the match, much like getting pinned in wrestling does. The semifinal was an even shorter affair, where he took down the world number 2, Dutch Ruben Houkes, in four seconds! Blink, and you would have literally missed it! These are the matches I really miss seeing in Korea. At any rate, the broadcasters can now relax and stop ranting, "When will Korea win its first gold medal?" Usually it's the women archers who provide the first gold, but Korea definitely got a nice surprise here. (Korea's women archers, by the way, set a new world record in the ranking round scoring 2004 points thereby securing the top seed in the team tournament and the top 3 seeds in the individual.

I wish I were in Beijing!

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