Son Heung-min Voted the Korean Athlete of the Year
Beatrice Yuu, Dec. 12, 2018, 9:16 a.m.
Tottenham Hotspur striker Son Heung-min was overwhelmingly chosen as the athlete of the year among Korean sportspeople.
Son finished on top with 63.3 percent support in a Gallup Korea poll, which was released on Tuesday. He also topped a similar poll last year.
Gallup Korea conducted the poll asking 1,700 people aged 13 or older nationwide from Nov. 7 to 30 to name two athletes who they think had the best performance this year.
Son has had a busy schedule this year shuttling between his duties as a national team member and Tottenham player. He participated in the FIFA World Cup in Russia and the Asian Game in Indonesia, where Korea won the gold medal, earning him an exemption from military service. He scored the 100th goal of his European career just last week.
Coming in a distant second was Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin (19.2 percent). Ryu came back from injury to make 15 starts last season, going 7-3 with an ERA of 1.97 and becoming the first Korean pitcher to start a World Series game.
In third place was national football team goalie Jo Hyeon-woo (8.8 percent), who saved 13 of 14 shots on goal in the group stage of the World Cup earlier this year.
Ranked fourth was national team striker Hwang Ui-jo (8.4 percent), whose Asian Games haul of nine goals in seven matches, including two hat tricks, helped Korea claim the gold.
Rounding out the top five was Kim Eun-jung (7.9 percent), who led the Korean women's curling team to a surprise silver medal at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Her squad upset heavy favorites Sweden and Canada to finish first in the round-robin standings. Korea went on to beat Japan in the semifinals but lost to Sweden in the final.