Wrestling, which brought the first gold medal in Korean Olympic history (Yang Jeong-mo, Montreal, 1976), was called the ‘best sport’ in comprehensive competitions until the 2000s, but lost its power since the late 2000s.
With no new star players appearing, there has been only one gold medal at the Olympics since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and at the Asian Games, there have been only three gold medals at the 2014 Incheon Games and two gold medals at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games.
The recent situation is not very good either. At the Asian Championships held in Kazakhstan last April, there was only one silver medal (Jeong Han-jae in the men’s Greco-Roman 60kg class) and one bronze medal (Women’s freestyle 50kg class Cheon Mi-ran).
Accordingly, ahead of the Asian Games, it was completely excluded from the ‘events expected to win gold medals’. Kim Hyun-woo (35, Samsung Life Insurance), a member of the wrestling team, said, “My pride was hurt. I felt like I was standing on the edge of a cliff.”
Although the outside gaze is cold, the wrestling team is determined to use this competition as a turning point and aim for revival again.
Rather than setting a big goal right away, I am aiming to win at least two gold medals.
The wrestling category of this tournament will be contested for a total of 18 gold medals over four days from October 4th to 7th.
In detail, the men’s division has 6 gold medals in Greco-Roman and 6 freestyle, and the women’s division has 6 gold medals in freestyle alone.
The sport in which Korea is highly anticipated is the Greco-Roman style, in which it has traditionally been strong. Unlike freestyle, Greco-Roman style does not allow lower body attacks. It is also a sport in which players such as Shim Kwon-ho, Kim In-seop, and Jeong Ji-hyun, who dominated the era, were active.
In this competition, Jeong Han-jae (Suwon City Hall) in the 60 kg class, Ryu Han-su (Samsung Life Insurance) in the 67 kg class, Kim Hyun-woo in the 77 kg class, and Kim Min-seok (Suwon City Hall) in the 130 kg class are aiming for the gold medal.
Jeong Han-jae unfortunately missed out on a ticket to the Olympics due to COVID-19 in the world quota competition where qualification for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics was at stake. However, he is considered the country’s No. 1 athlete in the 63kg class and is considered the most internationally competitive player on his national team.
He was also the only male athlete to win a medal at the Asian Championships last April.
‘Old masters’ Ryu Han-soo and Kim Hyun-woo, who were born in 1988 and are of the same age, burn their final flame.
Ryu Han-soo is aiming for his third consecutive Asian Games victory following 2014 and 2018, and Kim Hyun-woo, who won gold at the 2012 London Olympics and 2014 Incheon Asian Games, is looking to wash away his disappointment at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games (bronze medal) and ‘ The idea is to reap the ultimate beauty.메이저놀이터
Kim Min-seok, the bronze medalist at the 2018 World Championships, also has the skills to aim for gold depending on the situation.
In addition, in the freestyle, Gong Byeong-min (Sungshin Cement) in the 74kg class, Kim Gwan-wook (Samsung Life Insurance) in the 86kg class, and Cheon Mi-ran (Samsung Life Insurance) in the women’s 50kg class are considered medal candidates.
Meanwhile, it is expected that a large number of key players from wrestling powerhouses such as Iran and Japan will be absent from this tournament.
As the Hangzhou Asian Games were postponed by a year, the schedule overlapped with the World Championships, and this was because many people chose the World Championships, where qualification for the Paris Olympics was at stake. At the World Championships, 5 out of 16 tickets are granted for each weight class.
Instead of sending second-tier players to the World Championships, Korea plans to send first-tier players to the Asian Games and aim for a gold medal.