After earning his Korean citizenship in August 2017, Kim Jin hopes Korea’s rugby sevens team can pull off a miracle at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. [JANG JIN-YOUNG]Special naturalization in Korean sports is perhaps best associated with the men’s ice hockey team, basketball player Ra Gun-a and marathon runner Oh Joo-han, but there are some athletes in less popular sports who have found their way here for a shot at glory.Kim Jin, or Andre Jin Kim Coquillard, is the very first player on the Korean men’s rugby sevens team to have earned his Korean citizenship through special naturalization, and just next year he will wear the Taeguk Mark at the world’s biggest sporting event.Last month, the Korean men’s rugby sevens team, ranked 31st, defeated No. 21 Hong Kong 12-7 to earn a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Korea was lucky to earn their first-ever ticket to play rugby at the Games as eighth-ranked Japan, the highest-ranked team in Asia, already earned their spot as host.“The moment our victory was finalized, I was bawling because I was so happy,” Kim said. “After dinner, I cried again in my room. It was the happiest time of my life.”Rugby sevens was removed from… Read full this story
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