The oldest members of the Hangzhou Asian Games team are outfielders Choi Ji-hoon (SSG Landers) and Choi Won-jun (KIA Tigers). Both born in 1997, they are friends who will share the outfield duties at the Asian Games.
Choi Ji-hoon met with reporters after the team’s training session at Gocheok-dome on September 24, and said, “Rather than saying that I’m the oldest member of the team, it would be more appropriate to say that I’m just one or two years older (laughs). Compared to when I was called up to the WBC team, I feel more responsible because I have to go out as a starter. I hope I don’t make any mistakes.”
Choi Won-jun also said, “I played center field in the team, but now that I’m on the national team, I’m practicing defense in right field. It’s a position I’ve played before, so I’m preparing without any problems. I need to work well with my friend (Choi) Ji-hoon.”
Outfielders Choi Ji-hoon (left) and Choi Won-jun (right) became the oldest players on the Asian Games team. Photo by Kim Geun-han, Reporter
Choi Ji-hoon and Choi Won-jun spoke for the first time since being called up to the Asian Games squad. Despite being friends around the same age, they didn’t see each other on the team.
“It was the first time I really talked to (Choi) when I came to the national team,” Choi said. I knew about him from high school. He was famous for being so good at the time. Having a friend on the national team definitely makes me feel more comfortable,” he said, casting an affectionate glance at Choi Won-joon.
Unlike Choi Ji-hoon, who is still in the military, Choi Won-jun returned to the team this year after being discharged from the Sangmu Baseball Team. “The military is not an easy place (laughs)카지노사이트. I feel like I should help my friend by helping him win a gold medal,” he said.
Both athletes expressed concern about adjusting to the local food at the Games. If it’s not easy to adjust to the food, both athletes may have to resort to “hamburger eating” every day.
Choi Ji-hoon said, “I’m worried because I’ve never eaten local Chinese food before. I’m not a picky eater, but if I don’t like strong spices, I’ll have to stick to hamburgers,” said Choi. Choi Wonjun said, “I’m worried because I tend to cover my food a bit. I’ll have to share a burger with Ji Hoon,” he laughed.
Choi Ji Hoon, outfielder of the Asian Games team. Photo by Chun Jeong-hwan, Reporter
With two players born in 1997 as the most veteran players, the Asian Games baseball team is decidedly younger in age. This naturally affects the atmosphere of the team.
Choi Ji-hoon said, “When you have a lot of young players, you can feel a certain fiery fighting spirit. I think (Kim) Hye-sung, who has a lot of national team experience, will be able to lead the atmosphere well, and we talk to each other well even if no one is speaking up. I expect us to work well together as a team.”
During the Asian Games, the KBO League will continue without interruption. The players must be used to the idea of training for the national team while their team is still playing.
“By coincidence, the first day that (Park) Sung-han and I were out, the team won right away (laughs). I feel like I should continue to support the team and watch them play, and I’m even more grateful that the coach told me not to worry about the team and to travel with peace of mind.”
Choi Won-jun also said, “When I’m watching my team play, I don’t see a big hole even if I’m out, because there are so many good players in the outfield. All my teammates told me to buy gifts for them (laughs). I’ll have to think about that when I get to Hangzhou,” he smiled.