Son Yeon Jae Named Best Athlete of the Year

D-Bo , Dec. 18, 2014, 11:15 a.m.

Rhythmic gymnast Son Yeon-jae was named best athlete of the year in a recent poll released by Gallup Korea on Wednesday. The poll was conducted on 1,703 men and women nationwide except for Jeju.

Son topped the list by earning 42 percent of the votes. Half of female respondents and 51 percent of teenagers chose Son.  Son won Korea's first ever gold medal in rhythmic gymnastics at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon.

This is the second time she was chosen as athlete of the year, the first time was in 2012 following her stellar showing at the London Olympics in which she finished fifth.  Figure skater Kim Yu-na, who retired after winning a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, came in second with 33.3 percent of the votes.

Ryu Hyun-jin, who plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers, came third with 29.1 percent.  Swimmer Park Tae-hwan, who became the most decorated Korean athlete in the Asian Games by winning his 20th medal in Incheon, came in fourth with 24.5 percent and Son Heung-min, who plays for Leverkusen in Germany's Bundesliga, was in fifth with 12.9 percent.

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