First gold medal ‘captain’ Kim Hye-sung says loss to Chinese Taipei upsetting, but young team off to a good start

First gold medal ‘captain’ Kim Hye-sung says loss to Chinese Taipei upsetting, but young team off to a good start

Kim Hye-sung shares her thoughts on winning the Asian Games.

The baseball team, led by Ryu Jung-il, arrived at Incheon International Airport on October 8 after completing the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games. With the gold medal, the team won its fourth consecutive title.

“It was fun,” said Kim Hye-sung, who led the team to victory as captain. It was my first time competing in an international tournament as a captain, so it was new and I was very happy,” said Kim.

Coach Ryu Jung-il was the first to recognize Kim as the tournament MVP. Although she had ups and downs in her batting, he gave her a lot of credit for protecting the infield with her solid defense. “She’s definitely the best infielder in the KBO,” Ryu said, praising her defense.

Kim laughed, saying, “That’s too much praise.” “It’s an overstatement,” Kim said, “but it’s because we all worked together with one heart and one mind, from the oldest brother (Park) Se-woong to the youngest (Jang) Hyun-seok and (Kim) Dong-heon, regardless of age. Also, the power analysis team did a good job of analyzing my power, so I was able to prepare well, and I think it paid off in the end.”

Kim competed in the Tokyo Olympics and the WBC, but her national team did not perform well at either event. This was her first win with the adult national team. “When I received the medal at the ceremony, I honestly didn’t feel it. But from the time I got on the plane, many people told me that they congratulated me every time they saw me. Even at the airport, I felt so real and happy,” she recalled. 메이저사이트

When she first put the gold medal around her neck, Kim laughed, “It was so heavy.” “The last two times I competed, I was disappointed with my performance, and each time I was left with a feeling of disappointment, but I’m so happy that it ended like this and I won the gold medal,” Kim said.

Hundreds of fans showed up at the airport to welcome the team. In addition to the baseball team, the archery and soccer teams also arrived on the same day. “The soccer and archery teams came together, so we knew there would be a lot of fans,” said Kim Hye-sung.

The team faced a threat in the ninth inning of the final, but Kim caught a grounder to second base, tagged the runner and threw to first base to turn a double play and secure the win. “With one out and runners on first and second, the opponent was a left-handed hitter. I thought the ball was going to come to me more than 80 percent of the time, so I was thinking about what to do when it did, and then the ground ball came to me. I thought I should (tag) and throw it myself,” she recalled.

In fact, there was a crisis. A 0-4 loss against Chinese Taipei in the second game of the group stage left them in second place and their chances of reaching the final in doubt. “After losing, I was upset and disappointed because I’m human,” Kim confessed.

It was the seniors on the national team who helped her through the situation. “I got a lot of calls from my former teammates, including (Yang) Hyun-jong, (Park) Byung-ho, and (Heo) Kyung-min, and they said, ‘You’re the captain, so you have to lead well. They told me, ‘You’re doing a good job and it’s not over yet.’ I thought, ‘Yeah, I’m the captain, but I can’t lose,’ so I tried to say a lot of good things.

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