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Company : Longines 
Friday, October 11, 2002 2:20PM IST (8:50AM GMT)
Cho, Eun-Jung From Korea Most Elegant Rhythmic Gymnast at 14th Asian Games 2002
Busan, Korea

In cooperation with the Busan Asian Games Organization Committee (BAGOC), official timekeeper Longines (A division of Swatch Group AG (virt-x:UHRZ)(LSE:UHRZq)) awarded Cho, Eun-Jung from Korea its prestigious Longines Prize for Elegance for the tenth time in the history of gymnastics. The winner, Cho, Eun-Jung received a distinctive piece of art by Swiss artist Piero Travaglini with a check worth US$ 5,000 and a Longines Flagship watch. The Prize honors the athlete judged to be the most elegant during the Asian Games 2002 rhythmic gymnastics competition.

In gymnastics as in any other sport, movement is a challenge requiring elegance as well as flawless execution. At this year's Asian Games rhythmic gymnastics event, the eleven gymnasts entering the final round of the individual all-round competition automatically became nominees for the Longines Prize for Elegance. The judging basis for awarding the Prize was also emotional appeal extending beyond technical considerations to include beauty, charm and charisma and last but not least grace and harmony of the movements. The jury evaluated each gymnast on these criteria, attributing marks ranging from one to four points according to each member's personal opinion. The points awarded to each athlete by the members of the jury was computed into a grand total. Cho, Eun-Jung from Korea scored the highest points and received the Longines Prize for Elegance just a day after her 22nd birthday.

The jury of the Longines Prize for Elegance at the Asian Games 2002 brought together Mrs. Nellie Kim (five times Olympic Champion and member of the FIG's technical committee -International Gymnastics Federation), Mr. Santiparb Tejavanija (Treasurer of the OCA - Olympic Council of Asia - and Governor of sports in Thailand), Mrs. Julia H. Moon (General Director of Universal Ballet), Mrs. Seah Kim (Korean actress), Mr. Minki Cho (Korean actor) and Mrs. Yolande Perroulaz (Member of the Board of directors of Longines and International Communication Manager).

Longines has awarded nine Longines Prizes for Elegance since its inception in 1997. The first was presented at the 21st World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Berlin (Germany) to Yanna Batyrchina of Russia. The second was awarded in 1998 to Svetlana Khorkina (Russia) at the 22nd European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in St. Petersburg (Russia). The third went to the Spanish women's gymnastics team at the 1998 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Sevilla (Spain). The fourth Prize was presented to the Hungarian gymnast Viktoria Frater at the 1999 European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Budapest (Hungary) while the fifth Prize was awarded to Elena Vitrichenko (Ukraine) at the 23rd World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Osaka (Japan). The sixth Prize went to Svetlana Khorkina (Russia) - for the second time - and for the first time in its history to a male athlete, Lu Yufu (China) at the 34th World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Tianjin (China). The seventh Longines Prize for Elegance went to the Spanish gymnast Esther Dominguez who proved to be the most elegant in front of her native country's enthusiastic public during the European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Zaragoza. The eight Prize was awarded to Irina Tchachina (Russia) during the 2001 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Madrid (Spain), while, finally, the most recent Longines Prize for Elegance went to the team from Italy during the 2002 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in New Orleans (USA).

With the Longines Prize for Elegance, the company has established a tradition in harmony with its corporate strategy, regularly reaffirming in this way that, truly, "Elegance is an attitude".

Longines is a member of Swatch Group Ltd, the world's leading watch manufacturer and marketer, with no fewer than 157 production sites in Switzerland. Swatch Group Ltd is the official timekeeper and data-handling operator for the Olympic Games in Athens, Torino, Beijing and other cities.

For further information, please contact:


Communique Public Relations
Jackie Shin,
Phone 2077-1577
Mobile 011 9950-3035
e-mail jackie@communique.co.kr

Anna Jae
Phone 2077-1576
Mobile 016 268-6516
e-mail anna@communique.co.kr

Longines Public Relations Korea
Kyung Shin Lee
Phone 3149-9532
Mobile 019 227 2455
e-mail kyungshin.lee@kr.swatchgroup.com

Longines Public Relations Switzerland
Ilse Maassen
Phone + 41 32 942 52 41
Fax +41 32 942 52 39
e-mail ilse.maassen@longines.com
Internet http://www.longines.com

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