The 26-year-old national baseball team outfielder, who is the same age, challenges to win the Asian Games for the fourth time in a row with his younger brothers.메이저놀이터
Outfielders Choi Ji-hoon (26, SSG Landers) and Choi Won-jun (26, KIA Tigers) have heavy shoulders. This is because they must fill the gap left by Lee Jeong-hoo (25, Kiwoom Heroes) due to injury and at the same time lead the younger players who were selected for the first time in the national team.
The oldest members of the field team met with reporters after the national team training held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 24th and expressed their resolve, saying, “I feel heavy on my shoulders, but I will do well.”
This year’s Asian Games national team set its own age limit at the entry selection stage and comprised young players in their early to mid-20s. Although there is a lot of attention on the national team as the ‘weakest’, Ji-Hoon Choi said, “Because only young players are gathered together, it has a unique atmosphere. There is a lot of fighting and a ‘fiery’ atmosphere is created. “I think it will go well,” he emphasized.
Ji-hoon Choi said, “I think it will be especially difficult for (pitcher who is a high school student) Hyun-seok Jang (planned to join Masan Yong Mago and LA Dodgers). I feel like I was among my brothers at the ‘2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC)’ (held in Japan last March). “At that time, just saying that made my face turn red.”
Choi Won-jun, who solved the military problem as a member of Sangmu but was selected as a wild card, said, “The military is not an easy place. “I think I need to help a lot of players who haven’t completed their preparations,” he said with a smile. If they win a gold medal at the Asian Games, male athletes will be exempted from military service.
The team also showed a lot of support for the two people who were competing in the Asian Games with great responsibility.
Choi Ji-hoon told an anecdote, saying, “SSG coach Kim Won-hyung said, ‘The team will run well without you (Choi Ji-hoon, Park Seong-han), so go win a gold medal.’” Choi Won-jun also laughed, saying, “My brothers just said, ‘Have a nice trip and be sure to buy me a gift.’”
The national team predicted an all-out effort against its opponent, Chinese Taipei, in the second match of the group stage (October 2). National team coach Ryu Joong-il said, “We will pour everything into the match against Taiwan.” The players are also well aware of the importance of the match against Taiwan.
Jihoon Choi and Wonjun Choi said, “Most of Taiwan’s pitchers seem to throw the ball at 150 km/h. I don’t think it will be easy to hit. However, he said, “I will do well as the national team has many players with strengths in strategic execution,” and pledged, “I will definitely win against Taiwan and play with confidence.”
The Hangzhou Asian Games team, led by coach Ryu Joong-il, will play a practice game against Sangmu on the 26th, complete its last domestic training on the 27th, and depart for Hangzhou, China, on the 28th.