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Pension For Sportsman Spurs Korean Athletes To Excel - Coach

KUALA LUMPUR, May 12 (Bernama) -- Pension provided to sportsmen, including badminton players, is among reasons for South Korean athletes to excel at the international stage.

Apart from shuttlers, national players in other sports like football, taekwondo or even rugby get full financial support from the government, for their services and contributions.

"This benefit spurs Koreans to be involved more actively in the sports arena. It is also a reason why our Uber Cup team remain a seeded team in the competition," South Korean Uber Cup team coach, Jihyon Kim told Bernama here on Wednesday.

Asked on the amount given by their government for retiring sportsmen or sportswomen, Jihyon said it would depend on their performances, adding that top players would be getting higher pension.

The country has one main national centre, named Taeneung National Training Centre, to train all their players for national levels, aged from 15 years and above.

She said there were almost 50 members in the badminton squad itself where the expenses for players would be paid by the government.

"Hostels are provided for their convenience, so that they can actually give their full concentration on the sport," said the coach.

Meanwhile, Sung Ji Hyun who plays second singles for the South Korean Uber Cup team said the support from the government certainly helped boost her morale and work commitment towards achieving more victories.

Ji Hyun who made the semifinals in the Korean Open Badminton Super Series this year said players gave their best to express their gratitude to the government for the huge support.

"I am now gearing up towards winning a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics in London," said Ji Hyun, ranked 26 in the Badminton World Federation rankings.

Source from BERNAMA

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