Kim Hak-gyun on what the Sudirman Cup runner-up finish means…”A step towards the goal”

South Korea’s badminton team finished runner-up at the national championships, signaling a strong showing at the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games and Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Taking the next step.

The South Korean team finished as runners-up at the World Badminton Federation (BWF) Mixed Team Championships (Sudirman Cup), which concluded on April 21. They topped their arch-rivals Japan in the preliminary round and defeated Chinese Taipei and Malaysia in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. In the final, they lost the match 0-3 to a spirited China in front of their home crowd, but they defeated a string of world powerhouses to regain the top spot in the tournament for the first time in six years.

South Korean badminton’s pride as a ‘shuttlecock’ powerhouse was tarnished at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang when it finished with a bronze medal. However, since Kim Hak-gyun took over in November last year, the sport has enjoyed a revival. Ahn Se-young, the “genius girl,” has developed into a world-class player in the women’s singles division, forming a big four with Akate Yamaguchi (JPN), Chen Yufei (CHN) and Tai Tzu-ying (CHN). The women’s doubles team of Gong Hee-yong and Kim So-young won the most prestigious international event, the Jeon Young Open, in March.

At the Sudirman Cup, not only the women’s singles (Ahn Se-young) and women’s doubles (Kim So-young and Gong Hee-yong) who led the team to the title, but also other players and other pairs. The women’s doubles team of Lee So-hee and Baek Hana defeated Japan’s Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hiota, while men’s singles player Jeon Hyuk-jin, returning from injury, also contributed to the victory over Japan. In mixed doubles, Seo Seung-jae-Chae Yoo-jung and Kim Won-ho-Jung Nae-eun accelerated their progress. Kim Won-ho also showed good form in the men’s doubles, teaming up with Na Sung-seung.

The coaching staff under head coach Kim Hak-gyun emphasized teamwork and a good atmosphere among the athletes, leading to a race that was never easy.

Looking back on the Sudirman 안전놀이터 Cup, Coach Kim Hak-gyun said, “Although we had some shortcomings, I think we showed our capabilities well. However, because of our shortcomings, we were only able to finish as runners-up.”

He continued, “Our players are still not strong enough. We didn’t take the lead and be bold enough (compared to our final opponent, China). Once the tide changes, we need to find a way to regain the momentum, and we didn’t do that well.”

“Even though we didn’t win, I think it’s a good thing that we found out what we lacked. There is plenty of time to improve before the big event. “Our goal is different, and it’s a process to get there, and each of us has to fill in the gaps,” Kim said.

The goal for Korean badminton is to win a medal at the Paris Olympics in 2024. “We have a lot to prepare for this season,” said Kim Hak-gyun. This tournament (Sudirman Cup) will help us prepare for the Hangzhou Asian Games in September. I plan to renew with other leaders and run for the goal once again.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *