By Nick Butler

Beijing 2008 champion Park Tae-hwan is one star South Korea will be looking towards in 100-days time ©Getty ImagesSouth Korea will be looking to finish ahead of Japan for the fifth Asian Games in succession when the latest edition gets underway in Incheon in exactly 100 days time.

Since Japan finished ahead of South Korea on home soil in Hiroshima in 1994, the 2014 hosts have finished in second place, behind only China, at the last four editions: in Bangkok 1998, Busan 2002, Doha 2006 and Guangzhou 2010.

Four years ago South Korea managed 76 gold medals in a 232 medal haul in comparison with Japan's 48 golds and 216 medals, although China finished runaway leaders, as they have in every Games since New Delhi 1982, with 416 medals of which 199 were gold. 

If they are to repeat this success and close the gap to China, South Korea will be looking to their biggest stars of recent Olympic Games to shine once again on home turf.

This will include the Beijing 2008 400 metre freestyle champion and two-time London 2012 silver medal winner Park Tae-hwan, who has won three titles at the last two Asian Games.

The 24-year-old will compete in a stadium named after him, the Munhak Park Tae-hwan Aquatics Centre, in the freestyle events when the Games begin on September 19.

Badminton star Lee Yong-dae, the Beijing 2008 Olympic champion mixed doubles player who secured a bronze in men's doubles four years later in London, will be chasing his first Asian Games title.

Three time Olympic champion in pistol shooting Jin Jong-oh will be another leading South Korean medal hope ©AFP/Getty ImagesThree time Olympic champion in pistol shooting Jin Jong-oh will be another leading South Korean medal hope ©AFP/Getty Images

South Korea's strong shooting team will also be out in force in Incheon, led by London 2012 gold medal winners Kim Jang-mi and double champion Jin Jong-oh, who also won a first of three Olympic victories at Beijing 2008.

With the Korea Baseball Organisation having put its domestic season on hold during the Games so as to free the leading host nation stars, South Korea will be confident of defending the baseball title they won four years ago, while their football team will also be gold medal contenders. 

With 100-days to go, the Organising Committee has already received a boost with the news all 45 members states of the Olympic Council of Asia have committed to competing at the Games. 

This fits with the aim of the Games to "build harmony and reconciliation among all participants" and, in particular, this was illustrated further by confirmation last month that North Korea will compete despite the lingering tension with their neighbours.

Taking place from September 19 until October 4, the Games will see an estimated 14,000 athletes and officials competing for 439 gold medals across 36 sports, of which 28 are part of the Summer Olympic programme. 

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