Shooting Team “China-India are one step ahead of us… Asian Games gold medal target of three”
66 gold medals. That’s how many gold medals South Korea has won at the Asian Games. Second only to China with 205. For a long time, South Korea was Asia’s No. 2 shooting team, and shooting was the country’s “golden child” and filial sport. But the reality has changed. China is still the world’s strongest, and ‘new kid on the block’ India has made a formidable run. With full support at the national level, Indian shooting has surpassed South Korea to become Asia’s No. 2 sport. At the 2023 World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, last month, India won six golds and four bronzes to finish third overall, behind China (18 gold, seven silver, six bronze) and Ukraine (six gold, four silver, two bronze). South Korea finished 23rd with no gold and just 4 silver and 4 bronze.
Korean shooting will look to redeem itself at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, which begin this month. But the team is realizing that the barriers between China and India are high. “At the World Championships, we realized that China and India were a step above us,” said Hong Seung-pyo, the national shooting team’s head coach, at a media day at the Changwon International Shooting Range on Friday, “so we will focus on individual events rather than team events.” He said the team’s goal for the Asian Games is three gold medals. “We have made a lot of preparations,” he said. “Unlike other sports, in shooting, athletes who play at home often feel psychological pressure. We are expecting China to play hard.”
The shooting schedule for the Hangzhou Asian Games begins on Sept. 24 and ends on Oct. 1. South Korea will send 35 athletes to compete in 30 of the 33 events. Hong singled out men’s 10-meter running target Jung Jeong-jin (40), women’s 50-meter rifle 3 position Lee Eun-seo (30) and men’s 25-meter rapid-fire pistol Song Jong-ho (33) as candidates to strike gold. Jung is a gold medalist at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games (running target top individual) and will be looking for his fourth consecutive Asian Games podium. He won bronze in the top individual event at Guangzhou 2010 and bronze in the mixed individual event at Incheon 2014. “I’m aiming to win both events,” he said, adding, “I want to win back-to-back titles.” He will compete in both prone and mixed events.
“I want to win gold in both events, but I’m more confident in the rifle three position and the 10-meter air rifle,” said Lee, who is a “double starter” in the 50-meter rifle three position, “and I want to show what I’ve been practicing in a calm way. This is his first major competition, and he said, “I’ve been away from the national team selection a lot, so I’ve been thinking that I’m not good enough and that I’m pathetic.” “I have a good feeling lately, so I’m trying to keep that feeling,” he said.먹튀검증
Song Jong-ho said he was determined to erase the pain from Tokyo 2020 in Hangzhou. “I learned more about how to manage my firearms after that,” he said, “and I want to manage my equipment, mental and physical strength well to finish the competition,” he added. This will be Song’s third appearance at the Asian Games. He won gold in the men’s 25-meter rapid fire pistol team event at his first Games in Incheon in 2014, but failed to win a medal in Jakarta-Palembang four years later. “My goal is to win both the team and individual titles,” he said, “and since it’s my third time, I’ll use my own know-how to do well.”
Kim Bomi, 25, who is competing in the women’s 10-meter air pistol, is another medal hopeful. “At the time, I hadn’t competed in international competitions for two to three years due to the coronavirus pandemic, but now I’ve been competing in a lot of international competitions and my physical condition has improved a lot,” Kim said. “I’m worried about crowd-related issues such as noise because the Asian Games are being held in China, so I’m going to train with Chinese music playing loudly,” Kim said.
The team will compete in the National Police Chiefs’ National Shooting Competition in Changwon on Aug. 8 to test their performance before heading to Hangzhou, China, for the Asian Games on Aug. 20, 22 and 24.