INCHEON, Sept. 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korean rhythmic gymnast Son Yeon-jae's upcoming performance at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon was selected as the most anticipated event by spectators here, a survey showed Thursday.
The country's top rhythmic gymnast took 25.4 percent of the popularity vote of 3,000 South Koreans in their 20s to 50s, according to the survey by the local polling agency Panel Marketing Interactive (PMI).
The 20-year-old gymnast finished fifth in the individual all-around at the world championships last year. She has been expanding her presence on the global stage ever since, winning her first career individual all-around World Cup title in Lisbon, Portugal, back in April.
Rhythmic gymnast Son Yeon-jae (Yonhap file photo)
Son, who has surged to No. 5 in this year's world rankings compiled by the International Federation of Gymnastics, has now set her sights on an Asiad gold, which would be the first ever by a South Korean rhythmic gymnast.
Tickets to Son's events were the first to be sold out when booking for the seats at the 2014 Asiad began last month, attesting to her popularity at home.
Next on the list of most anticipated athletes during the 17th Asian Games was South Korean swimming icon Park Tae-hwan, who earned 24.3 percent of the votes, according to PMI.
Should Park win a gold during this year's event, he will become the first swimmer in the country to win at least one gold medal in three consecutive Asian Games.
Trailing the two were a pair of reigning Olympic champions: artistic gymnast Yang Hak-seon and pistol shooter Jin Jong-oh at 16.1 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively, according to PMI.