There’s something more valuable than a 50 million won bounty. This is the story of a rugby team that came back from the dead and restored its honor.
The rugby team returned home from the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games on the 27th. At the welcome home ceremony, the team received a bouquet of flowers and 50 million won in compensation, which was promised by Choi Yoon before the Games.
Choi had promised the team a huge reward before the Games to boost their morale. 100 million won was set aside for gold, 50 million won for silver, and 30 million won for bronze.
At the time, Choi explained, “We allocated the Asian Games medal rewards at the association level to motivate the national rugby team, who will make a new page of history, with the sincere hope of boosting morale and propaganda.” “I hope they will showcase their hard-earned skills to the fullest and play without regrets, and I hope their passion will lead to valuable results on the Asian Games stage,” he said.
The rugby team lived up to its coach’s expectations and made history. The team defeated China 36-7 in the sevens rugby semifinals at the Changchen Campus Stadium of Hangzhou Normal University in China on April 25 to book their place in the final.
The drama for the rugby team didn’t end until the semifinals, when they were brought to their knees by Hong Kong in a hard-fought final. Hong Kong were the heavy favorites, with a formidable squad that included a number of physical English players.
The team was not intimidated. They bumped, bumped, bumped, bumped, and bumped back up against their opponents, but couldn’t get over the wall. The result was a 7-14 loss. They didn’t win the gold medal they were aiming for, but it was a journey that deserves to be applauded.
South Korea’s national rugby team was once considered an Asian powerhouse, but in recent years it has lost ground to the likes of Japan and Hong Kong. It’s been 21 years since the team last won a title at the 2002 Busan Asian Games, when current coach Lee Myung-geun was a player, and the last time they reached the final was at the 2006 Doha Asian Games. That was 17 years ago. The team was desperate for a change of scenery in order to regain its reputation.
The team set out to redeem themselves and showed off their offensive prowess in the qualifiers. They got off to a flying start in their first two Pool B matches, defeating Chinese Taipei (22-0) and Sri Lanka (playing under the name OCA due to World Rugby suspensions, 22-7). In the quarterfinals, they defeated Malaysia 26-5, and in the semifinals, they swept aside China to set up a gold medal match. Although they couldn’t get over the final hurdle, they did enough to finish second. It was a sign that the traditional powerhouse is far from dead.
Through the federation, Choi expressed his excitement for the future of Korean rugby, saying, “Seeing the team reach the final with a record of four wins and no losses and win the silver medal after 17 years, I feel that the day is not far away when Korea will regain its reputation as the number one rugby team in Asia.”
Reaching the final gave the players enough confidence and extra motivation. It gave them a sense of purpose that they could really go for the gold now.
Veteran Lee Jin-gyu told the association, “We came here to win gold, not silver. I think it was a disappointing result for both the staff and the 메이저사이트 players. Even though we only got a silver medal, I think it’s a good opportunity for us to make up for what we obviously lacked against Hong Kong. We will analyze what Hong Kong is good at, work hard and try to win the gold medal at the next Asian Games,” he said.
Korean rugby celebrated its 100th anniversary this year, and it’s a great way to mark its resurgence in a momentous year. As the sport prepares to take wings, can a silver medal at this year’s tournament help it soar once again?