Kim Woojin, Kang Chae Young lead Korean recurve team selections for 2020
Korea has named its international squad for the 2020 season.
The selections were initially intended to represent Korea at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Instead, archery’s leading competitive nation will restart its trials process for the delayed Olympics in the autumn.
“I’m satisfied with this result, and it is good preparation for the Olympic squad selection starting this September,” said Woojin.
“It’s good for everyone to start competition again, during the pandemic, and I hope the situation continues to improve so we can get back to normal.”
The selection event – and first national tournament in Korea since the start of pandemic restrictions held alongside it – took place with strict measures to protect the participants' wellbeing. Archers and coaches wore masks (except when on the shooting line), observed social distancing and there was comprehensive health monitoring.
“It’s hot and stuffy wearing a mask, but all the archers complied because safety is the top priority,” said reigning Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion Kang.
“This year was supposed to be a good opportunity in my career, so I was disappointed by the delay. But I’m positive that I’ve been given more time to get ready.”
Oh Jin Hyek became the first Korean man to win an individual Olympic gold in 2012.
Four years later, he missed out on selection for the team sent to Rio – but vowed to return for one last shot in Tokyo before ending his career. When the Games were delayed, Oh announced that he would also delay his retirement.
“Personally, I was sad about the delay. But I know that the health and safety of participants is the top priority for everyone at the Games,” he said.
“I have to prepare for another year, but I know how I trained this time last year, so I’m going to turn back the clock and do it again.”
The 38-year-old has been battling a shoulder injury for the past few seasons.
Korea usually selects eight athletes for its national squad, with the top three or four representing the country at international events.
Veteran Im Dong Hyun lost his place on the squad for the first time in 18 years in 2020. However, Beijing 2008 Olympic individual bronze medallist Yun Ok Hee and Jung Dasomi, who had double gold at the Asian Games in 2014, did secure places.
International competition is currently on hiatus. The next update on the tournament schedule will be released on 1 July.