+ A

Kim Kuk-young fails to qualify for 100m finals

Sprinter sets his sights on breaking records at 2018 Asian Games
Aug 07,2017
이미지뷰
Justin Gatlin of the United States congratulates Usain Bolt of Jamaica after the men’s 100-meter sprint final at the 2017 IAAF World Championships on Saturday. [AP/YONHAP]
이미지뷰
Kim Kuk-young after competing in the semifinals of the men’s 100-meter sprint at the 2017 IAAF Wolrd Athletics Championship at London Stadium on Saturday. [AP/YONHAP]
Though Kim Kuk-young wasn’t able to advance to the final at the 2017 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championship in London on Saturday, he made history in the Korean men’s 100-meter sprint, becoming the first Korean sprinter to advance to the semifinals at an international event.

Kim finished third in the men’s 100-meter qualifying race with a time of 10.24 seconds to advance to the semifinals on Friday. Kim’s advancement to the semifinals is the farthest any Korean athlete has progressed in the men’s 100-meter sprint at an international competition. But rather than being happy about the accomplishment, Kim showed disappointment in his performance in the finals.

“I was OK through the first 50 meters, but I was really bad in the last 50 meters,” Kim said to the Yonhap News Agency. “Today, I’d give myself 50 out of 100 points. I’d like to be able to score higher [in the semifinals].”

Kim’s 10.40 time in the semifinals was a lot slower than his 10.07 performance at the Korea Open in June. The top two finishers of Kim’s semifinal, Akani Simbine of South Africa and Justin Gatlin of the United States, ran 10.05 and 10.09, respectively. While there is no such thing as “if” in sports, if Kim had ran the time he ran at the Korea Open, he would have advanced to the final.

But Kim wasn’t completely depressed about the result; instead he saw it as a good motivator for the rest of the season.

“I competed against others until the 50 meter mark so next time, I’ll try to be in the lead until the 80-meter mark,” Kim said. “I’ll try harder to have a better result.”

Since he was 19, Kim has been setting the record in the Korean 100-meter sprint, which was previously held for 31 years by Seo Mal-goo. Seo ran the record 10.23 race at the 1979 Summer Universiade in Mexico.

Kim trains with the belief that he is the only sprinter in Korea who can improve on that record. Now Kim has his eyes set on the Asian Games next year.

“I really want to break the 10 second mark at the Asian Games in Jakarta next year,” Kim.

To do so, Kim will be training to set more Korean records over the next year and plans to compete in the IAAF Diamond League and World Challenge next season in preparation for the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.

Aside from Kim’s achievement, in the men’s 100-meter sprint, Usain Bolt of Jamaica ran his very last solo race, the men’s 100-meter sprint, on Saturday. Bolt concluded his career finishing third in 9.95 seconds, 0.03 seconds behind Justin Gatlin of the United States.

“My start is killing me,” Bolt was quoted on saying on ESPN.com. “Normally it gets better during the rounds but it didn’t come together.”

Bolt may not have won the race, but he remains the greatest sprinter in history, winning the gold at the men’s 100-meter and 200-meter sprint for three consecutive Olympics, and holding the world record in both men’s 100-meter and 200-meter race. Upon completion of the men’s 4x100-meter relay next Saturday, Bolt will conclude his career as a sprinter.

BY KIM HEE-SEON, KANG YOO-RIM [kang.yoorim@joongang.co.kr]