Thirteen years ago, at the Asian Games held in Guangzhou, China, Baduk was adopted as an official sport for the first time ever. Chinese baduk, which was challenging the stronghold of Korean baduk, tried to break the pride of Korean baduk through the Asian Games held in their country.
However, China completely lost face by handing over all three gold medals in the game of Go to Korea. Park Jeong-hwan, 9th Dan (30), who was 17 years old at the time and the youngest member of the national team, took part in both the men’s team event and mixed pair event and won two gold medals, proudly winning two gold medals.
After disappearing from the Asian Games, Baduk revived again this year after 13 years. Chinese baduk, which is evaluated to be stronger than 13 years ago, once again challenged Korean baduk in their home country. And Park Jeong-hwan is again on the hunt for a gold medal against the stronger Chinese baduk player. If you were the youngest 13 years ago, this time you have to lead the juniors as a senior.
On the 16th, Park Jung-hwan met with a reporter at the Korean National Institute of Technology and said, “I was too young during the Asian Games in Guangzhou. So, I didn’t know how to look cool and just went to enjoy it comfortably.” “Of course, it was personally important because of the military issue. Still, it seems that I was relatively focused on Go,” recalling 13 years ago happily.
Now is the era of Shin Jin-seo, who is 9 dan, recognized by all Go fans. However, it was the ‘era of Park Jung-hwan’ even until five years ago. As can be seen from the fact that the genealogy of the first players in Korean Baduk was Jo Nam-cheol – Kim In – Cho Hoon-hyun – Lee Chang-ho – Lee Se-dol – Park Jung-hwan – Shin Jin-seo, he was a representative of Korean baduk. Although it has been some time since he handed over the No. 1 ranking to Shin Jin-seo and fell to No. 2, his record of being No. 1 in the Go ranking for 60 consecutive months is still unbroken.
The fact that he is still the most powerful candidate to check Shin Jin-seo’s solo performance at the top proves how excellent Park Jung-hwan’s self-management skills are. Park Jung-hwan said, “I don’t know if I’m doing well. I just try to pay more attention to managing my physical strength,” he said. “I pay more attention to what I eat than usual during competitions. He goes to the gym in his spare time, and he likes quiet things, so his hobbies include taking walks, watching movies, and listening to music.” And he emphasized, “What is certain is that I invest more time in Go than other people.” When it comes to the amount of Go study, it is the confidence of Park Jung-hwan, who has a reputation in the world of Go.
Even in Baduk, which has domestic and international competitions, there is a national competition called Nongshim Shin Ramyeon Cup. The Asian Games are also national competitions. Park Jeong-hwan, who has accumulated a lot of experience in national competitions through the Nongshim Cup, said that the Asian Games are an important competition in a different sense from the Nongshimshin Ramen Cup. “The Asian Games are held once every four years. In addition, it is difficult for baduk to be adopted as an official sport in the Asian Games. If not this time, I don’t know when I can enter the Asian Games again.” “That’s why I desperately need a gold medal more than other competitions. National honor was also at stake, and since it is a rare opportunity, I think everyone will work hard.”
China tried its hand in various ways to shake off the shame of 13 years ago in this Asian Games. One of them is a stock change. At the Guangzhou Games, men’s team, women’s team, and mixed pairs were introduced, but in the Hangzhou Games, mixed pairs were eliminated and men’s individual events were organized instead. The prevailing opinion is that this is a ‘trick’ because there is no Korean opponent in the mixed pair, where Shin Jin-seo and Choi Jeong, 9th Dan, are likely to match.
Park Jeong-hwan, who has personally witnessed the growth of Chinese baduk by playing countless matches against Chinese players on the front lines for a long time, is wary, saying that the Asian Games will not be an easy match for Korean baduk, unlike 13 years ago. In fact, the Chinese national team, which had already been selected last year, was dismantled when the tournament was postponed for a year, and the national team was formed again from the beginning. Park Jung-hwan said, “These days, the Chinese baduk is too thick and there are many strong players.” In the individual event, Master Shin Jin-seo is so strong, so even so, I think the gold medal in the team event will be 50%.”
However, it is only a diagnosis of the level of the opponent, and it is by no means that there is no greed for the gold medal. Park Jung-hwan said, “Everyone who plays sports dreams of winning a gold medal. It comes with a really special meaning,” he said. “I also have a special feeling after entering the Asian Games in 13 years. It’s an opportunity I’ve been really looking forward to. I want to win the gold medal by working really hard not to miss the opportunity.”토토사이트
Park Jung-hwan, who seems to have no interests other than baduk on the surface, has many interests. He grasps the routines and life patterns of other sports players and writes them to himself. Park Jung-hwan said, “I saw so many sports stars while living in the athletes’ village during the Guangzhou Games. Personally, taking a picture with Son Yeon-jae is the most memorable,” he said with a smile and expressed his wish, “I hope I can take a picture with soccer players this time.”
Park Jung-hwan’s favorite sports star is the ‘figure skating queen’ Yuna Kim. Park Jung-hwan listened most deeply to the words of Kim Yu-na, ‘Even if you raise the temperature with all your might to 99 degrees, if it does not exceed the last 1 degree, the water will not boil forever’, Park Jung-hwan is most impressed with it and uses it as his motivation. He said, “The meaning of not giving up and continuing to work even if you fail sounded great. I want to do that too,” he said. Park Jung-hwan’s attitude of endlessly working hard even though he has the skills and character that everyone recognizes is also becoming a model for many people.