Ryu Jung-il, coach of the ‘4 consecutive AG gold medals’, believes the event will signal a generational change
Hangzhou Asian Games head coach Ryu Jung-il has set his sights on bringing home a gold medal after a generational change in the Korean baseball team.
In an interview with the baseball team for the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Ryu said, “I think we’re ready. Yesterday’s practice game against Sangsung showed that the pitchers and batters are in good shape. Today we will have a final training session to get the pitchers and batters in sync before we leave for Guangzhou. The coaching staff and players will work as a team to win the gold medal,” he said.
Since winning bronze at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, South Korea has won three consecutive gold medals in Guangzhou in 2010, Incheon in 2014 and Jakarta-Palembang in 2018. This will be their fourth consecutive gold medal attempt. South Korea has won five gold medals in seven Games since baseball was added to the program at the 1994 Hiroshima Games. The only events where South Korea did not win a gold medal were Hiroshima 1994 (silver) and Doha 2006 (bronze).
“There is pressure,” admitted coach Ryu Jung-il, “but this is a tournament that signals a generational change in the Korean national team. If we win a gold medal at this tournament, I think we can make a great contribution to the development of baseball in Korea. I hope these players will grow up and become players who can reach the quarterfinals of the WBC (World Baseball Classic) in 2026 and beyond.”
The tournament will feature many players making their first appearance for the adult national team, including Moon Dong-joo, Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha), Kim Dong-heon (Kiwoom), Jang Hyun-seok (Dodgers), Kim Young-kyu, Kim Hyung-joon, Kim Joo-won (NC), Choi Ji-min (KIA), Na Kyun-an, Yoon Dong-hee (Lotte), Park Young-hyun (KT), Park Sung-sung (SSG), Moon Bo-kyung (LG), Kim Ji-chan, and Kim Sung-yoon (Samsung).
In particular, Jang Hyun-seok is the only amateur player to be selected for the national team, which has drawn a lot of attention from fans. In a practice game against Sangmu on the 26th, he threw a fastball that reached 154 kilometers per hour.
“He’s still a young player,” said coach Ryu Jung-il, warning against expecting too much from Jang, “but he’s also a great player. That’s why we’re taking him to the United States. We want to see him grow into a player who can represent our country,” he said.
The team to watch out for in the tournament is undoubtedly Chinese Taipei. Coach Ryu Jung-il said, “We are still thinking about the starting pitcher against Taiwan. It will be either Kwak Bin or Moon Dong-ju,” he said. “The center field lineup won’t be much different from yesterday’s practice game. There may be some changes in the second and ninth spots.”
“It’s an artificial turf field, but the grass is a little longer than the Gocheok Dome. We will check it well during the two days of practice.” Regarding the hitters’ inability to get many hits in the practice games, 바카라사이트 he said, “The pitchers who pitched yesterday for both teams are the best pitchers in Korea right now. Of course it’s hard to hit them. We will go to Guangzhou and train hard for two days and improve our condition,” he laughed.