Kiwoom Heroes duo Kim Hye-seong and Kim Dong-heon have returned from the Asian Games in Hangzhou with a gold medal.
Kim Hye-sung and Kim Dong-heon rejoined the team on Tuesday after a day’s rest to face the Samsung Lions at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. They were named to the starting lineup at first base and eighth catcher, respectively. The team won 5-3 to complete the sweep.카지노사이트
South Korea won the gold medal with a 2-0 victory over Chinese Taipei in the final on July 7. Kim Hye-sung led the team as captain, while Kim Dong-heon was the backup catcher.
They returned to their respective teams on Aug. 8. Kim Hye-sung and Kim Dong-heon came to Gocheok Dome with a day off since they didn’t have a game on the 9th, and were greeted by many people. In particular, Samsung’s Kang Min-ho rushed over to congratulate Kim Hye-sung with a warm hug.
“He congratulated me on winning the gold medal and said he was so happy for me. He also told me that I was rewarded for my hard work at the Tokyo Olympics, because I didn’t do very well at the Tokyo Olympics, and my seniors were really sorry for me, and they supported me a lot this time. They also contacted me when I went to Hangzhou. I’m really grateful,” she said.
Samsung’s Kang Min-ho (right) hugs Kiwoom’s Kim Hye-sung./Reporter Shim Hye-jin
The highlight of the game was undoubtedly the final out. Kim Hye-sung made the catch and connected for the kill. It was a short pitch, but Kim Hye-sung’s quick thinking made the difference. It was a double play reminiscent of the last out of the 2006 Beijing Olympics.
“I’m still thinking about (the play),” Kim said. I was thinking, ‘This is how it’s going to be,’ and I think I made a confident play,” she laughed.
Kim Hye-sung batted leadoff in all six games. “It’s unfortunate that I didn’t hit well in the final, but I think I did a good job in defense. It’s good to feel like I contributed to the team.”
“I’m not lying, I couldn’t see anything,” he said, “I could only see in front of me. I wasn’t even sure who was around me. I was just running everywhere. I don’t even remember who I hugged first. I think it was probably with (the late) Woo-seok (LG). I don’t really remember,” he reflected.
Kim Dong-heon was in the bullpen at the moment of the win, so he didn’t even realize it was over. “I was in the bullpen getting the pitchers’ balls. I didn’t get a good look. The guys on the bench ran out, so I ran out. It was so good,” he said.
What does this tournament mean to them?
Kim Hye-sung said, “I think it will remain the most exciting and good tournament in my baseball life. We lost the first game against Chinese Taipei, but we won the second, so it was even more exciting and good.”
Kim Dong-heon said, “I’m very happy to come back with a good result for my first adult national team. On the other hand, it was a tournament where I felt I wasn’t good enough. It’s only my first year and I need to grow more. I was thinking a lot about how I need to grow more and improve my skills so that I can play as a starter if I go to an international tournament again someday. It’s greedy to want to be on the national team when you don’t have the skills. I will work hard from the fall to improve my skills for the national team. I will improve my skills and prepare well.”
This is Kim Hye-sung’s third national team appearance. You must have gained some international experience. How does she assess the competitiveness of other national teams?
“I think the players from other countries are the best, so they can only get better and better. From what I heard, Taiwan in particular has a lot of international experience. However, our team had many players who had earned their first Taeguk mark, so I think we have a lot of potential to improve in the future,” he said encouragingly.
The team is also happy to have overcome the underdog label. Kim Hye-sung said, “It’s nice to overcome the underdog label. It’s not a good word, but it’s like, ‘Yeah. You guys think so. We’ll show you what we’re capable of. Kiwoom was also criticized as an underdog, but didn’t we go to the Korean Series last year? I was proud then, so I was very proud this time too,” he smiled.
Kim Hye-sung has two games left to get the most hits. Manager Hong Won-ki announced that he would send her out to bat leadoff for one more at-bat. With two hits in 10 games, Kim Hye-sung has moved into the lead for the most hits. Her rival Son Asub (NC-183 hits) was unable to get a hit.
Kim said, “It’s natural for me to do my best in every game, regardless of the title. I will try to win the remaining matches. I think Son will win the title. There is a difference in the number of matches. I won’t let it bother me.” She shared her intentions for the remaining matches.
Now it’s time for an awkward fall. The team has been in the postseason for five consecutive years since 2018, but this year, they are in last place and have to watch other teams play fall baseball.
“I haven’t played fall baseball since 2018, but this is my first year. So this is my first time feeling this way. It’s awkward to watch them play baseball when we’re resting, and it’s not good. I don’t think I’m going to watch fall baseball. I’m jealous,” he said, then added, “I think I need to plan my offseason well. I had planned to go to the U.S. to train, but it will change a bit due to the training center schedule and volunteer activities.