Tottenham Son star completes basic training in South Korea

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SEOUL, Korea, Republic of – Tottenham forward Son Heung-min completed his three-week military training in South Korea on Friday and was near the top of the class.

The 27-year-old son entered the Marine Corps training camp on the southern island of Jeju on April 20 for a period of basic training which he undertook while the Premier League was suspended in Britain in because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Restrictions on social separation still in force in South Korea have made Son’s graduation ceremony closed to the public. That didn’t stop dozens of fans from waiting outside.

Local media reported that Son received an award for the group’s top five interns of 157 and hit a record high in shooting.

The South Korean news agency Yonhap quoted a military official as saying that Son had received a “Pilsung” award, one of five awards given to the best artists.

“All the courses were tried fairly and strictly, and his military training officers said he had followed the training faithfully,” said the Marine Corps officer at Yonhap.

Son fulfilled the conditions for the exemption from military service which he had won by winning the gold medal for South Korea in the football tournament at the Asian Games in 2018. Without the exemption, he would have been obliged by the law to serve 21 months.

After basic training, he still has community service obligations to complete by 2023 to complete all of his military duties.

Son is expected to return to London later this month. The Premier League is trying to find a way to resume in June, but group training has not yet started.

The South Korean K-League was due to kick off later Friday with defending champion Jeonbuk Motors against Suwon Bluewings in the southwest city of Jeonju.

The K-League was due to start on February 29 but had to be delayed due to the virus epidemic.

No fans will be allowed in the stadiums, many of which were built for the 2002 World Cup and have capacities greater than 40,000, at least for the first weeks of competition.

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