After eight days of intense competition, the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games saw a number of ‘last flares’ from veterans who hung up their tricolors or decided it was their last Asian Games .In fencing, which played the role of “filial piety” with a whopping six gold medals, two dominant athletes who have been with the national team for more than a decade made their “last dance” with gold.
Choi In-jung (33-Gyeryong City Hall) in women’s epee and Heo Jun (35-Gwangju City Hall) in men’s foil bid farewell to the Taegeuk mark. Choi, who was ranked No. 1 in the world, announced her retirement from the national team after winning the individual event, defeating last year’s double world champion Song Sera (Busan Metropolitan Government) in the final.
“I believe that my teammates will win the gold medal in Paris next year,” he said with a smile, adding that he and his teammates shared the gold medal in the team event as well. Heo Jun also announced his retirement from the national team after helping Korea win back-to-back titles in the men’s foil event with his juniors. The men’s flechette team, which had failed to produce an individual podium finish at the Games, won its second consecutive gold medal in the team final against China, led by the eldest Heo Jun, who rallied from a five-point deficit midway through the final.
For Jung Jin-hwa (34-LH), who helped 스포츠토토존 South Korea win the men’s pentathlon team title on the first day of the medal race last month, it was a farewell to the national team .The first Korean pentathlete to win an individual world championship (2017) and the start of a “golden generation” that finished fourth in the men’s individual event at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, Jung said he would be a “pillar of strength” for the younger athletes.
Women’s swimming star Kim Seo-young (29-Gyeongbuk-do), who served as the opening ceremony flag bearer, took home four medals (one silver and three bronze) in her final Asian Games, while cycling standout Na Na-rim (33-Samyangsa) took home a silver and a bronze. Athletics veteran Kim Kook-young (32-Gwangju Metropolitan Government) won his first medal at his fourth Asian Games, the last of which was a bronze in the men’s 400-meter relay with his 20-something juniors in a Korean record time of 38.74 seconds.
For Kim Min-gyu, 41, who won Korea’s first-ever silver medal in kurashi, a traditional Uzbek martial art, his first Asian Games was effectively his last. After retiring from judo to run a gym and compete in kurashi, a similar sport, he said he would focus more on coaching and developing athletes to compete in big events like the Asian Games.
Aces Kim Dan-bi (33-Woori Bank), who led the women’s basketball team to a bronze medal, and Jeong Jae-min (35-Namwon City Hall), who won bronze in the men’s 92-kilogram boxing division, are other athletes who have called it quits .Diving ace Kim Young-nam (27, Jeju Provincial Office), who is still in his 20s but has represented Korea for more than a decade, said he is considering retirement after winning silver with Lee Jae-kyung (24, Gwangju Metropolitan Sports Association) in the men’s synchronized 10-meter platform. Men’s Greco-Roman 67kg Ryu Han-soo (35) and 77kg Kim Hyun-woo (34-Samsung Life Insurance), who have been the “two-headed wagon” of Korean wrestling, were disappointed with their last Asian Games, losing in the quarterfinals and bronze medal match, respectively.
The two were so eager to win their last gold medals at the Asian Games, which were originally scheduled for last year, that they set their wedding date for the end of last year to give it to their prospective wives, and they endured a year-long postponement to prepare, but they were unable to fulfill their medal dreams .Wushu’s Seo Hee-ju (29, South Korea Wushu Association) was also competing in her last Asian Games. Initially counting Jakarta-Palembang 2018 as her last, she had to wait another five years as she tore her ACL just before competition, missing out on a podium finish by 0.003 points in the women’s toro sword and spear event.