* This post is written by Korean Class Massive, one of the Korea Blog’s Worldwide Korea Bloggers.
And so that’s the end of the first day! After an EPIC opening ceremony where most of us stayed up way past midnight, we were very excited to get the first day of the Olympics started. South Korean athletes were up at the crack of dawn and already competing when most of us where still in bed. The girls kick started the day with a bang, literally, with the shooting qualifications and badminton. Bae Yeon Ju is currently ranked number 1 in her group in the Womans singles Badminton Category!
10am saw the beginning of an EPIC journey for cyclist Park Sung Baek who was the only South Korean to enter the Men’s Road Race. He started off really well and spent the first half of the race in the leader group, but by around the 3rd lap, he started to struggle, and although he hung in there for as long as he can, he fell down into the chaser group. He remained in the chaser group for quite some time, battling it out but it just got too much and unfortunately he did not finish the race. But Park did exceptionally well and really made an impression as he remained in the leader group for a strong length of time. The Men’s Road Race is an epic journey and really tests your endurance with many of the top athletes struggling as the laps keep coming. We applaud you Park Sung Baek! You did really really well! We hope you get lots of rest before the Team Pursuits!
The South Korean team had a very busy day today with competitions happening left right and centre. It was crazy trying to keep up, whilst the gymnasts were vaulting and spinning, there was drama happening in the swimming pool. When South Korea was throwing down their opponents in Judo, the Female Handball team was in the battle of their life – who knew handball could be so violent! South Korea won after a intense match but unfortunately one of the players suffered a really painful injury. We hope shes ok and can rejoin the team on Monday for their match against Denmark. If you have never seen Women’s handball before it’s definitely worth catching, it’s so extreme!
One of the biggest dramas of the day was the disqualification of Park Tae Hwan in the qualifying rounds of the Men’s 400m Freestyle for a false start. Park Tae Hwan was obviously very confused by this, and after a tense period where this issue was investigated, his disqualification was overturned in time for the finals in the evening! The 400m Freestyle was a tense race, and Park Tae Hwan narrowly missed out on gold to China’s Yang Sun. Park Tae Hwan did an amazing job, and must have been feeling extreme stress and pressure from the earlier troubles of the day.
Another really intense sporting event from today was the Women’s Individual Foil. Nam Hyun Hee ran an incredibly close match against Italy’s Elisa Di Francisca. It was 10-10 at the end of the final round, taking it into an extra minute. Both ladies went all out in this final added time to try to win a place in the final. Unfortunately, Nam Hyun Hee just missed out, losing to Di Francisca. Nam Hyun Hee will be competing for the Bronze medal, so keep tuned for this match!
Big news of the day was Korea’s first Gold Medal! The Men’s 10m Air Pistol finals saw Korea’s Jin Jong Oh compete against seven other people for the medal. Jin Jong Oh was so relaxed throughout the match, and was even shooting with one hand in his pocket at some points, so boss! He was one cool guy, and looked so happy when he won. So pleased for him!
And so after a day Shooting, Badminton, Cycling, Swimming, Judo, Gymnastics, Handball, Fencing, Rowing and Archery. The day finished with a bit of Volleyball for the South Korean Women’s team. A big pat on the back for all the South Korean athletes! We tried to catch all the games and you can see some photos we captured on our Facebook page.
It’s been a long and tough day but South Korea ends the first day of the London 2012 games on a high with a impressive result of 3 medals, one Bronze, one Silver and one Gold. Republic of Korea FIGHTING! And GOOD LUCK for tomorrow!