“The prize money is all piled up in my bank account. I don’t have time to spend (laughs).”
Ahn Se-young (21, Samsung Life Insurance), a “shuttlecock genius,” said this while attending a Media Day event organized by the Korean national badminton team at the Jincheon National Training Center in North Chungcheong Province on the 16th ahead of the Asian Games in Hangzhou. Ahn Se-young participated in 12 international competitions this year and won seven championships, four runners-up, and one third place, earning $428,480 (approximately 574.27 million won) in prize money alone. Ahn Se-young is the No. 1 player in the World Badminton Federation (BWF) prize money ranking this year.
It was not easy to find time to spend money this year, not only Ahn Se-young but also the Korean national badminton players. Until this day, the badminton team’s official overnight stay was ‘day 0’. The badminton team prepared a media day because they could not attend the ‘Hangzhou Asian Games D-30 Media Day’ held on the 24th by the Korea Sports Council. The badminton team leaves for Copenhagen, Denmark, where the World Individual Championships will be held on the 18th.
National team coach Kim Hak-kyun (52) said, “When I went to international competitions, I had to go to domestic competitions (I had to attend), and the rest I spent at the Jincheon National Training Center. It’s a hellish schedule. In the future, the schedule is full until the end of November,” he said.
Coach Kim tightened the reins in order not to repeat the failure during the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. The Korean badminton team had to return empty-handed without winning any medals in this competition. It was the first time in 40 years since the 1978 Bangkok Games that the Korean badminton team ended up with a ‘no medal’ at the Asian Games. Coach Kim said, “In Hangzhou, medals in all (7) events are my goal.”메이저사이트
The closest thing to a gold medal in the Asian Games is Ahn Se-young, who is ranked #1 in the world. Ahn Se-young won the Japan Open last month and became the first Korean player in 27 years since Bang Soo-hyeon (51, retired) in 1996 to become No. 1 in the BWF women’s singles world rankings. Ahn Se-young said, “Coach Seong Ji-hyun (32) always tells me, ‘If she acknowledges the burden (to keep the world number one) and does her best every day, she will have good results. She also said that since she practiced a lot, her confidence increased as well. She will show me my badminton like the number one in the rankings,” she said.
During the Jakarta-Palembang Games, which was her Asian Games debut, Ahn Se-young lost to Chen Yu-fei (25, China, 3rd) in the round of 32 and had to pack her bags in a hurry. As for Chen Yufei, Hangzhou is her hometown, so there is no doubt that she will receive one-sided support from Anbang fans during this competition as well. Ahn Se-yeong, who is ahead with 4 wins and 2 losses in this year’s head-to-head match, said, “Whether it’s in Chen Yu-fei’s hometown or wherever, I’ll be able to bring good enough results if I enjoy it the way I want.”
She is also aiming for a gold medal in women’s doubles. Kim So-young (31, Incheon International Airport) – Gong Hee-yong (27, Jeonbuk Bank), the ‘Kimkong duo’ who won four times at this year’s international competition, is ranked third in the world, and this year’s Indonesia Open champion Lee So-hee (29, Incheon International Airport) – Baek Ha-na (23, MG Saemaul Geumgo) Joe is ranked second, even higher than this. Lee Kyung-won, 43-year-old women’s doubles coach, said, “The goal is for our players to play in the final. I hope to do so not only at the Asian Games but also at the Paris Olympics next year,” she said.