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I think usually in Korean when just saying 운동 without any context, Koreans don't tend to think "sport" and more towards excercise instead. 운동 is translated to sport when the context around 운동 in a sentence indicates the word being used more as a translation of sport. (Hope that helps !)
That's a bit odd that she wouldn't be able to say it, since many Japanese people have nasaly G's, often making them sound like nG's!
An example with this could be like them saying Arigatou (thanks), but it would sound more like Aringatou with the nasal pronunciation (the n is usually pretty unnoticeable unless you're listening for it)!
Maybe she's from a part of Japan where they say their G's more clearly. Or maybe they don't even think about it?