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Korea looks to redeem poor '96 showing

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Head Coach: Ung-Yong Kim.

Key Players: RHP Min-Tae Chung will be the team’s ace and likely is headed to Japan or the United States after the Olympics. Sidearming RHP Chang-Yong Lim will remind people of Arizona’s Byung-Hyun Kim as the likely closer. 1B Seung-Yuop Lee hit 54 home runs in 132 games last season.

How Qualified: Beat Japan to win the Asian qualifying tournament last September.

Olympic History: Lost the bronze-medal game 3-0 to Taiwan in 1984. Lost the bronze-medal game 7-0 to Puerto Rico in 1988. Did not qualify in 1992. Went 1-6 in the round robin in 1996.

Players With U.S. Ties: None.

Notes: By shutting down its professional league, Korea will send the closest thing to a dream team, lacking only a few players who are playing in the United States. The pitching will be particularly imposing, and at least a few of the players on this pitching staff will show up in major league organizations down the road. The hitters are talented but not accustomed to seeing the power pitching that Cuba and the United States will present. This should be a cohesive team, as the players have been in international tournaments together before.

Outlook: Korea came into the 1996 Games as a medal contender and left with a dismal 1-6 showing. Hopes are even higher this time around, especially after Korea beat Japan in the Olympic qualifier last year and in the Asian Games in 1998. Anything less than a medal in Sydney will be a disappointment.

Roster

Pitchers: Tae-Hyon Chong, Min-Tae Chung, Pil-Jung Jin, Soo-Kyung Kim, Dae-Song Koo, Seung-Ho Lee, Chang-Yong Lim, Sun-Dong Lim, Seok-Jin Park, Min-Han Son, Jin-Woo Song.

Catchers: Sung-Heon Hong, Kyung-Oam Park.

Infielders: Dong-Joo Kim, Han-Soo Kim, Tae-Gyun Kim, Seung-Yuop Lee, Jin-Man Park, Jong-Ho Park.

Outfielders: Sung-Ho Jang, Soo-Keun Jung, Ki-Tae Kim, Byung-Kyu Lee, Jae-Hong Park.

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