Lee hails Korea's first Olympic football medal
President Lee Myung-bak lauded Saturday South Korea's first football medal at the London Olympics as people across the nation were jubilant after their men secured the bronze medal by beating Japan 2-0.
"At dawn today, the Republic of Korea became one," Lee wrote in his article posted on the Web site of the presidential office, referring to South Korea by its official name. "The victory of our football team showed the reserved strength of our united power."
With South Korean athletes performing well at the London Olympics, including in football and with the defending Olympic champion Hwang Kyung-seon taking gold in the women's taekwondo under-67kg class, Lee said, he "prides himself on being the president" of South Korea.
The football victory over Japan came as diplomatic tensions escalated Friday after Lee made an unprecedented visit to Seoul's easternmost islets of Dokdo, which has long been claimed by Japan.
More than 15,000 fans wearing red T-shirts watched the football match at the City Hall plaza in central Seoul and erupted with joy when South Korea beat Japan.
"I am so satisfied that our team beat our rival Japan," said 25-year-old Moon Seul-gi. (Yonhap)