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Volleyball star Kim Yeon-koung, teen swimmer Hwang Sun-woo named S. Korean flag-bearers at Tokyo Olympics

15:19 July 07, 2021

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, July 7 (Yonhap) -- The volleyball icon Kim Yeon-koung and teen swimming sensation Hwang Sun-woo will carry the South Korean flag at the opening ceremony for the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

The Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC) announced the two athletes as the country's flag-bearers Wednesday.

This June 3, 2021, file photo provided by FIVB shows South Korean player Kim Yeon-koung during the FIVB Volleyball Women's Nations League tournament in Rimini, Italy. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The opening ceremony for the 32nd Summer Olympics will take place in the Japanese capital on July 23.

Kim, 33, is one of the most popular athletes in South Korea. Long considered one of the world's top female volleyball players, Kim will be competing at her third and likely final Olympics.

Kim is also going after her first Olympic medal. The closest call came at the 2012 London Olympics, where South Korea lost to Japan in the bronze medal match.

Hwang will be making his Olympic debut at age 18. He will race in four events: 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle and 4x200m relay.

Hwang owns the world junior record in the 200m freestyle at 1:44.96, set during the South Korean Olympic trials in May this year. It's also the world's fifth-fastest time in that distance in 2021.

The KSOC said South Korea will have 232 athletes and 122 officials in 29 sports at the Tokyo Olympics. The state objective is to win six to seven gold medals and rank inside the top 10 in the medal race.

The KSOC will host the official launch ceremony for the athletic delegation Thursday in Seoul.

In this file photo from May 16, 2021, South Korean swimmer Hwang Sun-woo reacts to his victory in the men's 200-meter freestyle race at the national team trials with a world junior record time of 1:44.96 at Jeju Sports Complex in Jeju, Jeju Island. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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