**Korean Baduk Team Settles for Silver in Hangzhou Asian Games**
*Women’s Baduk team loses to China in finals, secures a silver medal*
The 19th Hangzhou Asian Games witnessed Korea’s Kim Chae-young, Oh Yu-jin, Kim Eun-ji, and Choi Jeong competing in the women’s Go team event. The Korean team clinched a commendable silver medal at the Qiyuan Chess Hall in Hangzhou, China, on the 3rd. China emerged victorious with the gold medal, while Japan settled for bronze.
Despite being considered strong contenders for the gold medal, Korea encountered a series of events that led to disappointment and denied them a place on the podium.
The highly anticipated women’s baduk (Go) game delivered a shocking result. Dominating all six games leading up to the finals, the Korean team appeared almost invincible. However, their dreams of the gold medal were dashed at the final hurdle.
Taking place on the 3rd at the China Foundation branch in Zhejiang, China, the final match saw Korea face their formidable opponent, China. In the qualifiers, Korea had previously defeated China 2-1. Keeping the same lineup as before, both teams took to the board.
Unfortunately, Korea faced setbacks right from the start. Choi Jeong, known as ‘Korea’s No. 1 Player’ and a formidable force in women’s baduk, was outplayed by Li He of China, ultimately succumbing after 203 moves. Kim Eun-ji, also known as the ‘Divine’ player, was initially leading in her match against Wu Yi-ming of China but made a series of unfortunate mistakes towards the end, resulting in a loss after 275 moves. Despite a victory from Wu Jin in the third match against Wei Ziying in 319 moves, China had already secured the win with two earlier victories.
After the match, Jeong-eun Choi expressed her remorse, acknowledging the disappointment caused to her teammates and citing planning difficulties as a contributing factor to her loss. Kim Eun-ji admitted to a lapse in judgment during the countdown, expressing her disappointment in her overall performance.
Wishing to recover from the disappointment of Shin Jin-seo’s bronze medal in the men’s individual event, the Korean baduk team aspired to emerge victorious in both the men’s and women’s team competitions. However, their efforts were thwarted once again by China.
In 2010 during the Guangzhou Games, Korean baduk triumphed by winning three gold medals (men’s and women’s team and mixed pair) and a bronze medal, overpowering China, the host country. In contrast, this time around, Korea has secured only a bronze medal in the men’s individual event and a silver medal in the women’s team event.
The disappointment extended beyond Baduk, as Korean cyclist Na-reum finished 5th in the women’s solo road race. Na-reum, a formidable player in the sport, previously won two consecutive championships in Incheon (2014) and Jakarta-Palembang (2018). Hopes were high for her to secure a third consecutive victory in this competition. However, she completed the 18.3 km race in 25 minutes 56.08 seconds, placing 5th out of 14 competitors.
The women’s solo road race is a challenging event where each team starts individually, and the rider who reaches the finish line with the shortest time emerges victorious. Na-reum aims to redeem herself by participating in the individual road race, the final event of the women’s cycling division, on the 4th.
In another disappointing outcome for Korea, the kayaking team led by Cho Kwang-hee, considered Asia’s strongest kayaker, achieved two silver medals but fell short of securing any gold medals.
Cho Kwang-hee had previously won gold in the 200m single-person kayak event at the 2014 Incheon and 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. However, due to the exclusion of the main event, the 200m single-man kayak, from the canoe sprint event in this competition, Cho competed in the two-man and four-man events with his teammates. In the men’s 500m two-man kayak final, held on the 2nd, Cho and his partner recorded a time of 1 minute 37.690 seconds, earning them the silver medal, closely trailing behind China’s Bou Tingkai and Wang Chung-wen (1 minute 36.658 seconds). Later that day, Cho participated in the men’s 500m four-man kayak final, but unfortunately had to settle for another silver medal, with a time of 1 minute 25.006 seconds.
However, it was the Chinese team consisting of Bu Frangeng, Wang Chongkang, Zhang Dong, and Dongyi who secured the gold medal with an impressive time of 1 minute 23.859 seconds, edging out Korea by a gap of 1.147 seconds.
Although Korea’s performance in Baduk, cycling, and kayaking may not have met expectations, they have put up a strong fight against tough opponents in the Hangzhou Asian Games. As the competition continues, fans eagerly await the upcoming events, hoping to witness moments of triumph for Korea’s athletes.
Korea’s Kim Chae-young, Oh Yu-jin, Kim Eun-ji, and Choi Jeong, who won silver medals in the women’s Go team event at the 19th Hangzhou Asian Games held at the Qiyuan Chess Hall in Hangzhou, China on the 3rd, takes a commemorative photo on the podium. The gold medal went to China and the bronze medal went to Japan. [사진 출처=연합뉴스]
It was expected that Korea would easily win the gold medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games. However, there is a series of events where one mistake changes the color of the medal and he doesn’t even make it to the podium.
The shocking silver medal came from the Korean women’s baduk game. They seemed to have no rival, winning all six games until the finals. However, he collapsed just one step before reaching the gold medal.
The final match of the Baduk women’s team was held at the China Foundation branch in Zhejiang, China, on the 3rd. Korea’s opponent is China, who they won 2-1 in the qualifiers. Korea and China faced each other again with the same list of players as then.
However, Korea suffered from the first game. Choi Jeong, 9-dan, who is known as ‘Korea’s No. 1 Player’ and the strongest player in women’s baduk, was pushed by Li He of China, 5-dan from the start and lost through ban after 203 moves. Next, ‘Divine’ Kim Eun-ji, 7th dan, lost to Wu Yi-ming, 5th dan, in 275 moves. Kim Eun-ji was in the lead until the middle of the game, but made a series of mistakes at the end, leaving a mark of disappointment. Third runner Wu Jin defeated Wei Ziying in 7th under in 319 moves, but China had already lost two games and confirmed the victory.
Korea’s Choi Jeong drinks water while playing against China’s Li He in the women’s team event final of the 19th Hangzhou Asian Games held at the Qiyuan Chess Hall in Hangzhou, China on the 3rd. [사진 출처=연합뉴스]
After finishing the match, Jeong-eun Choi said, “I feel sorry for my teammates for losing because of me,” and added, “We worked really hard to reach the rounds final, but I’m very disappointed that we lost.” Then he looked back and said, “The planning was difficult for me, and when I was in the middle of the day, I made a mistake and the situation was tilted.”
Kim Eun-ji said, “I knew it was good until the middle, but I was mistaken as the countdown started. “I’m very disappointed in the content,” he admitted.
Korea’s baduk tried to make up for the disappointment of Shin Jin-seo’s 9th bronze medal in the men’s individual event by winning both the men’s and women’s team competition, but it was to no avail as he was once again thwarted by China.
When Korean baduk was first adopted as an official event at the 2010 Guangzhou Games, it swept three gold medals (men’s and women’s team and mixed pair) and even took one bronze medal, overwhelming the host country, China. At that time, China won only three silver medals. But this time things were different. Currently, Korea has only won a bronze medal in the men’s individual event (Shin Jin-seo, 9th dan) and a silver medal in the women’s team event.
This is not just Baduk. Na-reum, the reliable Korean cycling leader, also finished 5th in the women’s solo road race.
Na-reum is one of the strongest players in this sport. He won two consecutive championships in Incheon in 2014 and Jakarta-Palembang in 2018, and was aiming for his third consecutive victory in this competition. However, in the women’s solo road race held on the 3rd on the road course at the Jeshou Sports Center in Chunan, Zhejiang Province, China, she covered 18.3 km in 25 minutes 56.08 seconds and placed only 5th out of 14 competitors.
The solo road bike race is a race where each team starts one at a time, and the rider with the shortest time to reach the finish line wins. Na-reum aims to regain her honor by participating in the individual road race, the final event of the women’s cycling division, on the 4th.
The pair of Cho Gwang-hee and Jang Sang-won (Incheon Metropolitan City Hall) recorded a time of 1 minute 37.690 seconds in the 500m two-person kayak men’s canoe sprint held at the Fuyang Water Sports Center in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China on the 2nd, taking second place out of 9 teams and winning a silver medal. This is the first medal won by a Korean canoe in this competition. The photo shows Jang Sang-won (left) and Jo Kwang-hee. [사진 출처=연합뉴스]
Korea, led by Cho Kwang-hee, the strongest kayaker in Asia, could not hide its disappointment, winning only two silver medals and no gold medals.
Cho Kwang-hee won the gold medal in the 200m single-person kayak at the 2014 Incheon and 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. However, in this competition, the main event, the 200m single man kayak event, was excluded from the canoe sprint event, and he competed in the two man and four man events with his colleagues. However, in the men’s 500m two-man kayak final held on the 2nd, he recorded a time of 1 minute 37.690 seconds, winning the silver medal following China’s Bou Tingkai and Wang Chung-wen (1 minute 36.658 seconds), and then he captured the men’s 500m four-man kayak final held on the same day. Unfortunately, he had to settle for his second silver medal, recording a time of 1 minute 25.006 seconds.
In this event, the Chinese team, which consists of Bu Frangeng, Wang Chongkang, Zhang Dong, and Dongyi, won the gold medal by recording a time of 1 minute 23.859 seconds, beating Korea by 1.147 seconds.
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