Top 5 Sportswomen in South Korea

Previously we did an article on the Top 5 Sportsmen in South Korea. Although this is a follow up, I must say it was hard writing this article as there were just too many capable female athletes! Here’s our list on the Top 5 Sportswomen in Korea.

5. Jang Mi-Ran (Weightlifting) 장미란

A recently retired weightlifter, Jang Mi-ran has several noteworthy accomplishments under her belt. Having won all the major tournaments for weightlifting once, she has achieved a ‘Career Grand Slam’ . This is a feat only few have achieved.

jang mi ran 2

Some Top Achievements:

  • Beijing 2008 Olympics – Gold
  • Goyang 2009 World Championships – Gold
  • Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games – Gold

4. Lee Sang-Hwa (Speed Skating) 이상화

A Sprint specialised speed skater, Lee Sang-Hwa dominates the skating rink when it comes to short distances. She holds several medals, including the Olympics and World Championships and even has the world record for women’s 500metres Speed Skating (36.36 seconds). Though she doesn’t hit the mark when it comes to long distances, she has really made her mark in the sprint and 500m categories.

Some Top Achievements:

  • Vancouver 2010 Olympics 500m – Gold
  • Sochi 2014 Olympics 500m – Gold
  • Obihiro 2010 World Sprint Championships – Gold

3. Kim Soo-Nyung (Archery) 김수녕

Probably one of the most accomplished Olympians in Korean history, Kim Soo-Nyung is an archer with a deadly aim. Though she retired around the early 2000s, she already had numerous medals and titles under her belt during her 12 year career. From 6 Olympic medals to 4 Gold Medals in the World Championship, she is indeed a force to be reckoned with. Some even say she’s the best female archer of all time.

Some Top Achievements:

  • Seoul 1988 Olympics Individuals – Gold
  • Seoul 1988 Olympics Team – Gold
  • Sydney 2000 Olympics Team – Gold

2. Inbee Park (Golf) 박인비

An avid golfer since young, Inbee Park has been in the game since young and has pursued it’s professional route very early on in life. She has played in several major junior tournaments such as Kraft Nabisco Championship and U.S. Girls’ Junior when she was an amateur. Her career really kicked off around 2012, finishing top 3 in 10 out of 23 tournaments and topping the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) charts in scoring average. To further add on to that, she’s 1 of only 7 people to achieve a Career Grand Slam (winning 4 different major tournaments).

She is currently the top woman golfer, according to the official Women’s World Golf Ranking, where she sits comfortably at 1st place.

Some Top Achievements:

  • 1st Place in Women’s World Golf Ranking (Rolex Rankings)
  • Won the Women’s British Opens 2015
  • U.S. Women’s Open 2013

1. Kim Yuna (Figure Skating) 김연아

kim yu naSouth Korea’s figure skating heroine. During her early teens she was already competing international competitions and achieving top 3. Affectionately known as the “queen on ice / figure skating queen” in Korea, She has participated in many major tournaments, with the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in specific, being the most important competition in her career. There she achieved the highest scores ever given by the ISU System since it’s creation and was registered as a world record.

Fun fact: She had her own TV show for a while and it’s called Kim Yu-na’s Kiss & Cry!

Kim Yeona

Some Top Achievements:

  • Vancouver 2010 Olympics Ladies Single – Gold
  • Sochi 2014 Olympics Ladies Single – Silver (Highly controversial, many said she should have received Gold)
  • London 2013 World Championships Ladies Single – Gold
  • Received the Talent Medal of Korea in 2008

Honourable Mention:

Park Sung-Hyun (Archery) 박성현

park sung hwa

Personally speaking I definitely wanted to include her on the list if it were not for Kim Soo-Nyung (Female Archer of the 20th Century). But this in no way plays down her abilities, holder of a world record herself, Park Sung Hyun has made her own mark on the international stage. She was even a former World Number One Archer in 2001 till 2003, the longest standing Number 1 in recent years.

Park sung hwa 2

Some Top Achievements:

  • Beijing 2008 Olympics Team – Gold
  • Athens 2004 Olympics Individual – Gold
  • Holder of World Record 70metres 72 Arrows round.

Image Sources: XinHua Net, HeraldCorp, Wikipedia (Korean), SpeakerMK, Tistory,Wikipedia, TheStar, SBS ,USSA, Zimbio.