Mi-Jung Kim, the first South Korean woman to win an Olympic gold medal in judo, has been appointed to coach the women’s national team. Hee-Tae Hwang, who like Kim is a former world champion, will coach the men’s side.
The Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games and Paris 2024 Olympics are the two major multi-sport events on the new coaches’ horizon.
Kim is the first woman to lead a South Korean judo squad that is “an honor and burden”.
Now 50, Kim won an under-72-kilogram world title in Barcelona in 1991, before earning Olympic gold a year later at the same destination. Kim also won Asian Games gold in Hiroshima in 1994.
Hwang won Asian Games gold medals at Doha 2006 and Guangzhou 2010, as well as a world title in Osaka in 2003.
The duo assume their roles on the back of South Korea winning three judo medals at Tokyo 2020 – all in men’s events.
Cho Gu-ham won U100kg silver, An Ba-ul picked up U66kg bronze and An Chang-rim was an U73kg bronze medallist.
South Korea also won three medals at each of the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics.