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[Asian Games] Korea grabs 2 golds, 2 silvers in boxing

South Korea won two golds and two silvers in men's boxing on Friday at the Incheon Asian Games.

Light flyweight Shin Jong-hun jabbed his way to the title with a unanimous 3-0 decision over Kazakhstan's Birzhan Zhakypov on the final day of the boxing competition.

"I still can't believe that I actually won," said Shin during an interview. "I guess I'm so happy right now that I'm not even crying."

It was South Korea's first Asiad gold in 12 years. The last time South Korea claimed a gold in the combat sport was at the 2002 Busan Asian Games. 

The bronze went to Kyrgyzstan's Turat Osmonov and the Philippine's Mark Anthony Barriga. According to boxing rules, bronze medals are awarded to the two boxers who lose in the semifinals.

Asked about his subpar results during the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and the London Olympics -- he had failed to reach the podium at both -- Shin said he's had his "bad moments," but that he is "very happy that (he has) finally done it this time."

Shin, who has gone through poverty as a child, had chosen to pursue boxing as a means to put food on the table for his family.  

"Although I can't say I'm rich, now I've bought a house of my own as well as a car for my father," the 25-year-old said, adding that now his goal is to get himself ready for his next big match in November.

The second gold medallion was claimed later by bantam boxer Ham Sang-myeong after he defeated Chinese opponent Zhang Jiawei by 3-0.

"I've been training since March this year, and I'm really glad that my efforts led to good results," the 18-year-old said.

The budding boxer made his national team debut in Incheon, and the Asiad was also his first international multisport competition.

Despite his relative lack of experience on the global stage, the teenager was able to climb up to the top of the podium. 

"My next plan for my career is to become a member of the national team and compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro,"

said the smiling young fighter, oblivious to the bandaged cut below his right eyebrow.

Mario Fernandez from the Philippines and Kairat Yeraliyev from Kazakhstan were each given the bronze in the bantamweight category.

Kim Hyeong-gyu from South Korea also proceeded to the final round in the men's light heavyweight but lost to Adilbek Niyazymbetov of Kazakhstan by 2-1.

Another South Korean male boxer Lim Hyun-chul was also cut short in his quest for the top and had to settle for silver after his 2-1 defeat to Thailand's Wuttichai Masuk.

Earlier in boxing, Park Jin-a won a silver after losing her final bout to Chinese rival Yin Junhua in a 2-0 decision, while Park Nam-hyeong secured a bronze medal in the men's heavyweight discipline.

Overall, South Korea won two gold medals, three silver medals and one bronze medal in boxing.  (Yonhap)

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