Sunday, August 17, 2008

Park leads S Korean to charge into top 8 in women's basketball

Park Jungeun led South Korean scorers as her team edged out Latvia 72-68 on Sunday to secure a spot in the quarter-finals of the Olympics women's basketball tournament.

Park notched up a team-high 17 points, grabbed four rebounds and gave out three assists in the game against Latvia.

"It's a really tough process to be able to compete in the quarterfinals here," the 1.80m forward said.

"We have already achieved our goal for the Olympic Games and we will have no regret for the tournament," she added.

Park, one of the best players in the WKBL, is a versatile athlete who can play both guard and small forward.

She has been a leader of the national team since 1999 and is even more pivotal since the retirement of center Jung Eun Soon.

"I was also on the team in Sydney ," she said. "I played bad in Athens and we finished 12th."

She considered the success of reaching the top eight at the Beijing Games enabled the world to have a better understanding of their basketball playing.

Born on January 14, 1977, Park was influenced by her parents and began playing basketball at the age of nine because she thought she would be good at basketball as a tall girl.

Park, whose aunt Sinja Park was one of the most famous basketball players in South Korea during the 1960 and 1970's, debuted in Atlanta Games.

With a hobby of playing pool, she studied physical education in Kyung Hee University in Seoul.

Park is married to Han Sang Jin, a famous TV actor in South Korea who came to Beijing to watch the matches and intended to return home two days ago.

"But he stayed for my sake," she said.

Source: Xinhua

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