Kim Hyeon Woo grabbed bronze at the Olympics

Su Jin Jang, Aug. 15, 2016, 10:20 a.m.


South Korean Greco-Roman wrestler Kim Hyeon-woo grabbed bronze at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on Sunday, overcoming a judging controversy in his first round defeat. Kim, the 2012 Olympic champion in 66kg, beat Bozo Starcevic of Croatia 6-4 in the 75kg bronze medal match.

Kim had lost to Roman Vlasov of Russia in the round of 16, his first match of Sunday, by 7-5.

Down 6-3 in the dying moments, Kim executed a move that he thought was worth four points. The referee instead gave him two points, and a South Korean challenge was rejected, which gave Vlasov an extra point for the victory.

Kim's camp at first sought to appeal the ruling but decided against it after reviewing the match.

Kim got to the repechage stage when Vlasov reached the gold medal match and by getting past Yang Bin of China to set up a meeting with Starcevic.

Kim scored two points 1:11 into the first period, but Starcevic rallied to take a 4-2 lead later in the period.

The South Korean tied things up early in the second period and then executed a successful throw for two points that decided the match.

Kim said afterward he competed with a dislocated right elbow.

He sustained the injury during the first period when he landed awkwardly on his forearm as Starcevic rolled him onto his side.

Despite the pain, he managed to lift Starcevic and pulled off the move that gave him the decisive points.

"I've been training over the last four years with my eyes on nothing but an Olympic gold," Kim said. "I am still disappointed. I wanted to finish my Olympics without regrets, and so I took every match as my final."

As for the controversial loss, Kim said, "I don't want to think about it because it's already in the past."

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