Son scores again... Choi Ji-hee and Han Na-lae win Korea Open doubles
Updated: 2021-12-27 17:20:29 KST
Time now for "This Week in Sports" with our sports editor Paul Neat.
Paul, another goal for Son Heung-min over the weekend.
Yes, a Boxing Day goal in the Premier League for Son Heung-min on Sunday.
Son scored the third goal in a 3-0 Tottenham win over Crystal Palace.
Harry Kane and Lucas Moura with goals in the 32nd and 34th minutes gave Spurs a healthy half-time lead.
Then Son made it three in the 74th minute with a flick from an acute angle at the near post… his eighth in the league this season and fourth in as many matches.
Spurs are now unbeaten in six in the league and have moved up to fifth with three games in hand over Arsenal in fourth.
But, there were some doubts about the game going ahead at all.
According to The Athletic, the Crystal Palace players were told to stay at home rather than gather at a hotel as per usual on the day before the game… due to positive COVID-19 tests among the staff.
Reports on Saturday had suggested the game might be postponed and a request to have the game called off was submitted early on Sunday.
But, after the Crystal Palace players tested negative, the game went ahead.
Spurs versus Palace was one of six games that did go ahead.
But, 24 games throughout the English Football League were called off.
In the Premier League, Liverpool versus Leeds, Wolves versus Watford and Burnley versus Everton were all called off due to cases of COVID-19 being reported.
Meanwhile, Spurs last Thursday sealed their place in the semifinal of the League Cup… following a 2-1 win over West Ham.
Tottenham will face London rivals, Chelsea, over two legs in early January.
The Winter Olympics
South Korea has set a rather modest medal target for Beijing 2022.
Yes, it has.
South Korea hopes to win a gold medal or two and secure a top-15 finish.
Korea will be expected to win gold in short track speed skating as South Korea is the most successful country… in Olympic short track history… with 24 gold medals and 48 medals overall.
In PyeongChang 2018, Korea won five gold, three of which were in short track speed skating, as well as eight silver and four bronze… to finish seventh in the medal table.
South Korea expects to send 60 athletes in total to the Games who will compete in six sports.
The cut off for qualification is January 24th.
There are just 39 days to go until the Winter Olympics in Beijing… which will be the first city to have staged both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
Speaking of short track speed skating.
Korea has 13 quota places for the Games next year.
Yes, South Korea has secured 13 places in speed skating for Beijing 2022.
The International Skating Union on Thursday announced its allocation of quota places for speed skating, based on results from four ISU World Cup competitions this season.
On the women's side, South Korea won a spot in the 500 meter, two places in the 1-thousand meter, and two more in the mass start.
For men, South Korea will have two skaters each in the 500 meters, 1-thousand meter, and the mass start, and one each in the 1-thousand 500 meter and the team pursuit.
Five medalists from the 2018 Games will be back in Beijing.
Switching to baseball now.
Preparations begin for the 2022 KBO season.
The league's 2021 MVP has signed on for another year.
Yes, Ariel Miranda has signed on for a second season with the Doosan Bears.
The deal was announced on Friday with Miranda set to earn 1.9 million U.S. dollars for the year.
Miranda was named as KBO MVP after a record-breaking season that saw him lead the league with an ERA of 2.3-3 and 255 strikeouts, the highest number ever recorded by a KBO pitcher in a single season.
He also picked up a Golden Glove and won the Choi Dong-won Award, the top prize available for pitchers in Korean baseball.
Meanwhile, Yang Hyeon-jong has returned to KBO and has signed for his hometown club the Kia Tigers.
Yang has signed a four-year deal with a guaranteed 2.1 million dollars and four million in incentives.
The deal comes following a difficult few weeks of talks between the two sides.
According to reports, Yang walked away from a fifth round of talks with the Tigers on Wednesday.
But, he signed on the dotted line and returns to KBO after a one-year stay with Texas Rangers… where he signed a minor league deal and switched between the majors and minors throughout the year and made just 12 MLB appearances.
Let's shift our focus to Tennis.
The Korea Open concluded on Sunday with some home-soil joy in the doubles event.
Yes, reigning champions Choi Ji-Hee and Han Na-Lae did it again, having also won in 2018.
This year, Choi and Han won 6-4, 6-4 over number two seeds Valentini Grammati-kopoulou of Greece and Reka Luca Jani of Hungary in the final in Seoul.
They earned 6-thousand dollars in prize money and 160 ranking points.
It was quite the journey to the final.
The Korean duo beat the number one seeds Arianne Hartono and Olivia Tjandra-mulia 6-2, 6-4 in the first round and went on to win the championship without losing a single set.
In the single's division, number two seed Zhu Lin of China beat Kristina M-laden-ovic of France 6-love, 6-4 in a one-hour and 18-minute final.
The tournament was the first WTA event in East Asia since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event was cancelled last year.
Thanks for that Paul.
See you next week.