The truth about the goal of 3rd place overall in the Asian Games

The truth about the goal of 3rd place overall in the Asian Games
The truth about the goal of 3rd place overall in the Asian Games

Editor’s note

36.5℃ is a story about the world written by Hankook Ilbo senior reporters with human warmth, neither too hot nor too cold.

At the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games squad selection ceremony held at the Olympic Hall in Olympic Park, Songpa-gu, Seoul on the afternoon of the 12th, national team players, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Park Bo-gyun, Korea Sports Council President Ki-heung Lee, and team leader Choi Yoon are shouting out fighting and taking commemorative photos. yunhap news

“Our goal is third place overall.”

At first, I couldn’t believe my ears. I guess I heard it wrong. The Taegeuk Warriors participated in the 19th Hangzhou Asian Games, which will be held from the 23rd to October 8th. This competition is now being held after being postponed for a year due to the novel coronavirus infection (Corona 19). There is no need to say anything about the team’s fierce determination. However, last month, the Korea Sports Council lowered its target of 2nd place overall, following China, to 3rd place. The Korea Sports Council will dispatch a total of 1,140 athletes to 39 events at the Hangzhou Asian Games, and its goal is to win 45 to 50 gold medals. What is the reason for this extremely “realistic goal revision”?

South Korea has maintained its second place overall after China from the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games to the 2014 Incheon Games. Then something strange happened. At the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games, Japan won 75 gold medals and rose to second place overall. At that time, Korea ranked third with 49 gold medals, short of its goal of 65. It was the first time in 36 years since the 1982 New Delhi Games that Korea had fewer than 50 gold medals.

There was a time when our goal was to win more gold medals than China. However, Lee Ki-heung, president of the Korea Sports Council, faced reality, saying, “Our competitor is Japan.” Japan has invested heavily in elite sports, including ranking second overall at the 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games held in Japan and hosting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The results were revealed during the Jakarta-Palembang Games five years ago. The Korea Sports Council announced that the gap in the number of gold medals, which was 26 at the time, could be reduced by at least 10. He said that we can improve in our main sports, such as swimming and baduk, and breaking, which became the first Asian Games event.

It somehow sounds sad. Korea, which was considered a sports powerhouse in Asia, is now in a position where it cannot hope to rank next to China. The Korea Sports Council cited the fact that the Korean national team was undergoing a generational change and that training was insufficient due to international competitions not being conducted smoothly due to COVID-19. I think the biggest reason is that our sports have failed to expand their base as daily sports.

It’s sad that the recent domestic men’s and women’s volleyball seems to show the situation the Korean sports world is in. Volleyball is a popular sport that runs a professional league in Korea and records sold-out crowds. The ‘random value’ of the players is also significant. According to the Korea Volleyball Federation, the men’s volleyball player (Korean Air) received the highest salary at 1.08 billion won, and the women’s volleyball player Kim Yeon-kyung and Park Jeong-ah (Pepper Savings Bank) earned the highest salary at 775 million won. There are about 70 male athletes and 50 female athletes who receive an annual salary of more than 100 million won.

Although they are receiving a lot of love from fans in a good environment, their performance in international competitions is nothing short of shabby. In the case of women’s volleyball, they suffered the disgrace of ‘all losses’ in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) for two consecutive years, and finished the tournament in 6th place, their worst performance ever, at the Asian Volleyball Championships that ended earlier this month. They are currently competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics qualifiers, but have lost two games in a row. Men’s volleyball is even more miserable. They are also unable to participate in the VNL due to being pushed out of the Asian region. Nevertheless, some say that due to the weak player base, there is a shortage of good players, creating a ‘ransom price bubble’. This is a tragedy caused by a shortage of players.

Some professional players hear bitter comments from fans, saying, “They can’t even serve and receive.” It seems natural that the level of competition in international competitions is gradually declining. It is dizzying to think that the reality faced by the Korean volleyball world is the future of our sports world.

Eunyoung Kang reporter [email protected]





The article is in Korean

Tags: truth goal #3rd place Asian Games


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