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Actress Lee Si-young makes national boxing team

17:56 April 24, 2013

CHUNGJU, South Korea, April 24 (Yonhap) -- Actress Lee Si-young, who has dabbled in boxing for the past two years, made the South Korean women's national team on Wednesday.

At the national team tryout held here in Chungju, about 150 kilometers southeast of Seoul, Lee defeated Kim Da-som 22-20 in the 48-kilogram class.

Lee, 31, has starred in a few local television shows since her debut in 2008. She first picked up boxing in 2010 after being cast as a female boxer for a TV series. To learn that role, Lee began training in earnest at a local gym under the guidance of former world champion boxer, Hong Soo-hwan.

The TV show never made it to the airwaves, but Lee has kept up boxing. In March 2011, she claimed the national women's amateur boxing title in the 48㎏ division.

Against Kim on Wednesday, Lee overcame a slow start for the come-from-behind win. Kim led 9-7 after two rounds but Lee bounced back with a series of straight left punches and right hooks.

Lee hadn't been expected to earn the national team spot this week. She had recently undergone a knee surgery and had only trained for about a month, and Kim, her 19-year-old opponent, was a bigger fighter who fought in the 57㎏ class only last year.

After the bout, Lee said she is now driven to be even better in the future.

"I was so nervous and I am disappointed that I couldn't show improvements," she said. "But this is still a glorious day. I think I should work even harder from now on."

Lee said she plans to enter more competitions this year, including the National Sports Festival in October. She said her ultimate goal is to represent South Korea at the Asian Games in Incheon, west of Seoul, in 2014.

"They say you have to dream a big dream," Lee said. "I am going to do my best."

To compete in the Asian Games, Lee will have to move up a weight class. The lightest female division at the Asian Games boxing is 51㎏.

"I know there are some great boxers in the 51㎏ class," Lee said. "But since I will be adding weight myself, I think I will have my chances."

She admitted it is quite demanding to pursue both boxing and acting careers, but hinted that she will keep her focus on the ring for the foreseeable future, as she tries to qualify for the Asian Games.

"Whether I can make it or not, I will give my best (in the ring)," she said. "I haven't been able to take part in full training. But I am going to prepare hard so that I won't have any regrets, regardless of the results."

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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