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.
|Lee Si-young (right) throws a punch on Wednesday. (Yonhap News)|
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 kg 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 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 kg 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.”