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Judoka Kim Jae-bum’s sweat pays off with gold

South Korean judoka Kim Jae-bum (27) captured gold in the men's under-81kg category at the London Olympics on Tuesday.

At the ExCeL Arena, Kim defeated Ole Bischof of Germany for his first Olympic gold in a rematch of the finals at the Beijing Olympics, avenging a close defeat from four years ago. It was South Korea's third gold medal in London.

Kim Jae-bum reacts after his win against Ole Bischof during the final match of Men Judo-81kg in London 2012 Olympic Games Judo in London on July 31 (Photo: Yonhap News, Photographer: Angelos Zymaras/Penta Press).

The victory also completes judo's equivalent of a grand slam. Kim, 27, has now won the Olympics, the world championships, the Asian championships, and the Asian Games at least once in his career. He’s the second South Korean judoka to accomplish the feat after former Olympic champion Lee Won-hee in the men’s under-73kg class. Kim’s gold is very meaningful because it is South Korea’s tenth Olympic gold in judo.

Choi Byung-chul (31) achieved a first in fencing. His bronze in men’s individual foil was the country’s first fencing medal at these Olympics. Choi edged Andrea Baldini of Italy 15-14 in the bronze medal contest.

(left) Jin Jong-oh of the Republic of Korea celebrates his win during the men's 10m air pistol final; (right) Korean female archers celebrate their victory at the London 2012 Olympics on July 29 (local time). They beat the Chinese team in the taut final, giving the country its seventh consecutive Olympic gold in women's team archery (photos courtesy of the Korean Olympic Committee).

Pistol shooter Jin Jong-oh was on the mark in the men's 25m air pistol for South Korea's first gold in London. Korea’s women archers embraced the pressure and achieved a seventh consecutive Olympics title. With Kim’s gold, South Korea jumps to fourth with three golds, two silvers, and three bronzes. With 245 athletes in 22 sports, South Korea has set out to grab at least ten gold medals for its third consecutive top-ten finish at the Summer Olympics.

By An Myungok Staff Writer

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