Ko Woo-seok (LG Twins), who has shed countless tears due to bad luck in international competitions, also shed tears at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games.
However, if his tears before were tears of regret, the tears he shed in Hangzhou were tears of elation, joy, and gratitude.
Ko Woo-seok pitched a scoreless ninth inning with a 2-0 lead in the final against Chinese Taipei at the Hangzhou Asian Games on Sunday at the Baseball and Softball Sports Center 1 in Shaoxing City, Zhejiang Province of China.
It wasn’t an easy game. Goh got Yang Chun-yu to fly out to center field in the first inning, but gave up a single to right to Lin Li to put runners on first and second.
The next batter, Lin Angguo, followed with a single to right to put runners on first and second.
Kou threw Lin Angguo a series of low fastballs that were just outside the strike zone, and the umpire ruled them balls.
But Goussaint induced Wu Yanding to ground into a double play, and celebrated.
He hugged his teammates to express his joy, and burst into tears after receiving the gold medal.
“I was in tears because I had a lot of complicated thoughts,” he said after the game. “It must have been a difficult decision for national team coach Liu Zhong-il, but I’m grateful that he trusted me and gave me a chance.”
“I also felt sorry for my former national team coaches, Kim Kyung-moon and Lee Kang-cheol,” he said.
In fact, Go Woo-seok has been plagued by bad luck at every international tournament. In the eighth inning of a 2-2 tie against Japan at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021, he made a base-covering mistake that could have ended the inning.
A shaky Go gave up a single and a walk to load the bases before collapsing.
At the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) earlier this year, Go injured his right shoulder in a practice game and did not play a single game.
The jinx seemed to continue in this tournament.
He entered the game in the bottom of the eighth inning of an 0-2 group stage loss to Chinese Taipei on Aug. 2 and gave up a double and a ball hit to his body before giving up a two-run double to Lin Tzu-hao with runners on second and third in an 0-4 loss.
However, Liu Zhong-il showed his unwavering trust in Gou by sending him out again in the final inning of the final game.
The situation and memories of the past brought tears to his eyes.
“I remember the efforts of my seniors (at the Tokyo Olympics and WBC),” he said, “I know today’s game won’t repay them, but I tried to do better. In this tournament, the other players have done a great job and I feel like I’m just being spoon-fed.”
“I felt bad for (catcher Kim) Hyung-joon (NC Dinos) because he was very disappointed,” he said, adding, “In hindsight, that call made a difference.”
“There was a similar situation in the past (2008 Beijing Olympics final),” he said, adding, “Coach Jung Dae-hyun, who threw the ball then, is the coach of the national team for this tournament, so I think I played with that in mind.”
“He was very good at signing the ball,” he said, “and I think he pointed out things I hadn’t thought about, so I threw more calmly.”
When asked, “How does it feel to have a medal around your neck,” he grabbed the medal from under his clothes and said, “It feels very heavy,” and smiled, “It’s really heavy, but it means a lot.
“Now all I have to do is pitch well in the KBO,” he said. “Right after the game, my teammates all sent me messages. They were watching the game. Thank you, and I will continue to grow.”
He boarded the bus to the athletes’ village, looking brighter than ever. 슬롯사이트