|▲ 42-year-old Jin Jong-oh, the oldest member of the Korean team|
■ Korean athletes to shine in the Olympics
The oldest woman is fencing Jeon Hee-sook
Basketball Park Ji-soo, the tallest person at 198cm
Four naturalized players including Oh Joo-han
Baseball team’s total annual salary is 11.1 billion won
The opening of the Tokyo Olympics is three days away. The Korean team, which consists of 354 players (232 athletes and 122 officers) in 29 sports, is concentrating on the final quenching to achieve the goal of winning more than 7 gold medals and entering the top 10 overall medal rankings.
The best of the Korean team is the ‘god of shooting’ Jin Jong-oh (42, Seoul City Hall). He is the eldest of both men and women. The last Olympics for Jin Jong-oh. From the 2004 Athens Olympics to this time, Jin Jong-oh will step on the stage for five consecutive Olympics. It is tied for the highest number of appearances by a Korean in the history of the Summer Olympics. Jin Jong-oh will compete in the men’s 10m air pistol and the newly created 10m air pistol mixed event at the Tokyo Olympics.
Jin Jong-oh challenges the record for the most medals in the Korean Olympics. Jin Jong-oh has already harvested 6 Olympic medals (4 gold, 2 silver). If Jin Jong-oh makes it to the podium in Tokyo, he will surpass Kim Soo-nyeong (4 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze) of archery.
The oldest woman in the women’s division is Jeon Hee-sook (37, Seoul City Hall) of the fencing foil, who will compete in the Olympics three times in a row. Jeon Hee-sook won the bronze medal in the team event at the London Olympics and is aiming for her first individual medal this time.
The youngest is Eunji Lee (15 years old) of swimming diving. Jin Jong-oh was born in 1979 and Lee Eun-ji was born in 2006, so there is a 27-year age gap between them. It’s like a father and a daughter. It is the first time in 13 years that a middle school student, a Korean business athlete, will participate in the Olympics since Kang Young-seo (then 14 years old), who competed in the women’s 200m backstroke at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This is the first time that a middle school student has passed the 2012 Olympic qualification record since it was introduced.
The youngest male archery team’s ‘hidden card’ Kim Je-deok (17, Gyeongbuk Il High School) took first place in the Asian Cup men’s individual event, which was the prelude to the Olympics earlier this month, beating out the seniors of the national team.
The tallest is Park Ji-soo (23 KB) of women’s basketball at 198 cm. As men’s basketball and men’s volleyball failed to secure a place in the Olympics, Park Ji-soo became the tallest player in the Korean national team. The shortest female diver, Kim Su-ji (23, Ulsan City Hall), is 152.7 cm. The height difference between the two is 45.3 cm.
The wrestler who weighs the most is Kim Min-seok (28, Ulsan Nam-gu Office), who competes in the men’s Greco-Roman wrestling 130 kg class. Seulgi Ahn (29, SH Corporation) of the women’s marathon is the lightest at 47.4 kg. The difference between the two is a whopping 82.6 kg.
A ‘second-generation sports star’ who inherited excellent DNA is also noteworthy. Yeo Hong-cheol (50), the daughter of a professor at Kyunghee University, called the ‘god of the chopping board’, Yeo Seo-jeong (19, Gyeonggi Physical Education High School), participates in the gymnastics women’s board. Professor Yeo won a silver medal in the men’s vault at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and Yeo-jeong Lee also dreams of becoming an Olympic medalist.
Lee Jung-hoo (23, Kiwoom), the son of LG coach Lee Jong-beom, a legend in professional baseball, takes the lead in the gold medal hunt as an outfielder for the baseball team. Like his father, Jung-hoo Lee is a Hotajun tribe and won a gold medal at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. His father, coach Lee, made an outstanding performance on various international stages such as the World Baseball Classic (WBC), but did not make it to the Olympic finals. Baseball was excluded from the official sport after the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the Tokyo Olympics, but returned after 13 years.
Yoon Ji-su (28, Seoul City Hall), the daughter of former Hanwha coach Yoon Hak-gil, a former Lotte ace in professional baseball, competes in the women’s saber fencing. Jisoo Yoon gained experience at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and participates in team and individual events at the Tokyo Olympics. His father, former coach Yoon, competed in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Baseball was a demonstration sport at the time, and Korea took fourth place.
There are four naturalized players. Joo-han Oh (33, Cheongyang-gun Office) in the men’s marathon, Jin Kim (29, Korea Rugby Association) in men’s rugby, Jeon Ji-hee in women’s table tennis (29, POSCO Energy) and Hyo-joo Choi (23, Samsung Life Insurance) will compete with the Taegeuk mark on their chest.
The main pillars of baseball, soccer, women’s basketball, and women’s volleyball teams are professionals. The baseball team is the most expensive. Professional football does not disclose salaries. The total annual salary of the 24 baseball team members this year is 11.175 billion won, and the average is 465625,000 won. The highest salary of the baseball team is Euiji Yang (34, NC) with 1.5 billion won, Oh Seung-hwan (39, Samsung) with 1.1 billion won, and Heo Kyung-min (31, Doosan) with 1 billion won.
Reporter Jeong Se-young [email protected]