The South Korean federation announced its 2020 Olympic Team following a two-day trial competition that saw 19-year-old Ryu Sung-hyun win the all-around title to make his first senior international team.
Ryu, the junior world floor champion in 2019, earned all-around scores of 83.150 and 82.800 to take the title. He will lead a team of veterans that includes 2016 Olympian Kim Han-sol, 2018 Asian Games team bronze medalist Lee Jun-ho, and 2012 Olympic vault champion Yang Hak-seon.
Lee finished second and Kim finished third in the all-around standings at the trial meet, while Yang, the first Olympic champion in the history of Korean gymnastics who missed out on the 2016 Games due to an Achilles injury, was selected for his ability to potentially medal in the vault final. He competed only on vault in the selection meet, and due to concerns related to his chronic hamstring pain, the federation allowed him to compete only one vault instead of the two he had planned, but they felt his performance there could make him a top medal contender in Tokyo in addition to contributing to the team.
The team could also have another vaulter if Shin Jea-hwan picks up the world cup spot. He’s currently leading the field there, and I believe he is mathematically unbeatable at this point, even if Japan’s Yonekura Hidenobu wins the final match in Doha.
While the women didn’t qualify a team, two athletes earned nominative individual berths at world championships in 2019, with Lee Yun-seo qualifying via the all-around while Yeo Seo-jeong made it thanks to her making it to the vault final at that same worlds.
Article by Lauren Hopkins