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© Yonhap News Agency
Korean sports leader sets target for 18th Asian Games


30 Dec 2017
Seoul, Korea, December 30, 2017: Lee Kee-heung, chief of the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC), has lots of tasks in 2018, reports Yonhap News Agency. One obvious priority is the nation's successful hosting of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang in February. In summer, Lee and the KSOC need to support the national athletes at the Olympic Council of Asia’s 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia.

Lee, who became the KSOC leader in October 2016, said South Korean sports officials were fully ready to support the athletes at the major competitions next year.

For PyeongChang, Lee said South Korea would aim to finish inside the top five by collecting eight gold, four silver and eight bronze medals. He also emphasised that South Korea needed to establish a better sports environment through the Olympics.

"We'll become a country that has hosted both the summer and winter Olympics and it's time for us to have an advanced sports system," Lee said. For the 18th Asian Games, which will run from August 18 to September 2, Lee said South Korea would try to secure a second place finish behind China. South Korea hasn't lost the runner-up spot against arch rivals Japan since 1998.

"It's not going to be easy this time because Japan will come up with their best athletes ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics," he said. "Our budget is mostly used on the PyeongChang Games, so it's going to be difficult for us to maintain the second place finish at the Asian Games. But we'll do our best."

Lee, 62, is also tasked with enhancing inter-Korean sports exchange. South Korea is especially hoping for North Korea's participation in the PyeongChang Winter Games so that it can promote the message of peace and harmony to the world.

"We're working to invite North Korea to the PyeongChang Olympics," he said. "Currently, we're keeping in touch with the North through the International Olympic Committee."

Source: http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr
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