Baseball national team criticized for winning gold… Kim Gwang-hyun and Lee Jung-hoo spoke of pride and responsibility

Two stars representing Korean baseball and the KBO league, Kim Gwang-hyun (34, SSG) and Lee Jung-hoo (23, Kiwoom), expressed their extraordinary determination ahead of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). The fighting spirit and process of the Korean national soccer team at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar spurred them on.

Kim Gwang-hyun attended the SSG Fan Festival held on the 11th and smiled, saying, “Will I be selected for the WBC?” I hope the players will work hard and do well,” he said.

The background of these words lies in the recent poor performance of the national baseball team in international competitions. There was a time when Korean baseball also raised the status of the country and impressed the people. Starting with the 2006 WBC, he culminated with a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Thanks to the 2009 WBC runner-up and the gold medal at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, the KBO League also had a renaissance.

However, in subsequent international competitions, the public was disappointed with disappointing performance and noise. At the WBC in 2013 and 2017, he could not even make it to the final stage due to being eliminated in the first round, and in the 2018 Asian Games, he had to return home after being criticized even though he won the 안전놀이터 gold medal as a player selection. Moreover, since then, the international competition where the best players face off has not been held due to Corona 19, and there has been no opportunity to make up for the past failure.

In that sense, Kim Gwang-hyun predicted that this WBC, which will be held for the first time in six years, will be a good opportunity for baseball. Each country, including the United States, Japan, and the Dominican Republic, had the best forces. It is the best stage to show something of Korean baseball.

Kim Gwang-hyun said, “This WBC may be a burden to the players. However, I hope they do it with pride (for the Taegeuk mark) and with a sense of burden and responsibility.” I hope that I will come to the WBC with the best performance possible for PR.”

Ahead of his major league challenge, his junior Lee Jung-hoo has already completed all preparations for self-PR. After the awards ceremony on the 8th, Lee Jung-hoo said, “I plan to put my whole body on fire. The only thought is that I have to work hard.” I want to continue to contribute to the country and achieve good results as long as possible,” he said, expressing pride in the Taegeuk mark.

As a player representing Korean baseball, he also stood out for his sense of responsibility. Referring to this World Cup, Lee Jung-hoo also said, “All the matches were great. Watching them catch even the games we thought were inferior reminded us of this year’s team. As a nation, we were so cool and proud.” He emphasized, “In fact, the interest in the baseball team is lower than that of soccer, and it seems to be not good. To change that image, I think the only answer is for our players to show through play in the stadium.”

To show their best appearance, the two started preparing early. Kim Gwang-hyun starts training this week and starts full-scale preparations such as catch ball from January 1st. Lee Jung-hoo, who started preparing two weeks ago, plans to move to the United States right after his sister’s wedding to prepare for the 2023 season.

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