If you don’t have teeth, use gums… Korean baseball pride restored

AG baseball team challenges for 4 consecutive losses

KBO Koryo national team composition limited Multiple
injuries to ‘top key’ Lee Jeong-hoo Overlapping,
Noh Si-hwan and others must be centralized in the batting lineup
Japan and Taiwan are at a critical point on the way to victory

Recently, Korean baseball has suffered a series of humiliations close to ‘disasters’ in international competitions. . Following its no-medal win at the Tokyo Olympics two years ago, it lost 4-13 to Japan and failed to advance to the quarterfinals at the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC)스포츠토토 held last March, showing that Korean baseball is being pushed to the periphery of the world.

The Hangzhou Asian Games are an opportunity to restore some of the battered pride of Korean baseball. Since baseball was adopted as an official sport at the 1994 Hiroshima Games, Korean baseball has won five gold medals in seven Asian Games. In particular, they have won three times in a row, from Guangzhou in 2010 to Incheon in 2014 and Jakarta and Palembang in 2018.

However, the situation for the baseball team led by coach Ryu Joong-il is not easy. Unlike previous competitions, this year’s Hangzhou squad consisted of players under the age of 25. This is because there was controversy over some players’ avoidance of military service when selecting the national team for the last tournament and criticism that the Asian Games was a tool for special military service benefits for certain players.

Accordingly, the KBO Strengthening Committee and Coach Ryu finalized 24 representative entries, including 21 players under the age of 25 or in their fourth year as a professional player and three wild cards under the age of 29, and released them in June. In addition, considering that the KBO League is in progress, the number of starters per team was limited to a maximum of 3 to minimize damage to each team.

Due to various restrictions on the composition of the national team, a gold medal cannot be guaranteed in Hangzhou. In addition, ‘hitting genius’ Jeong-hoo Lee (Kiwoom), who was expected to play a leading role in the national team as the best hitter in the KBO League, ended his season early due to ankle surgery, leaving him without a clear focal point in offense and defense. Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha), who ranks first in home runs (30) and RBIs (96) in the 2023 KBO League, must anchor the batting lineup, and mounds such as Kwak Bin (Doosan) and Moon Dong-ju (Hanwha) must also provide strength.

As expected, the competitors for the gold medal are Japan and Taiwan. Although they are professional baseball players, the level of the Japanese national team is comparable to that of the KBO league. It is reported that Taiwan will recruit the best players, including American minor leaguers and its own professional and professional leagues. Both teams are difficult opponents for Korea.

The Asian Games national team players will be summoned on the 23rd and begin their first training at Gocheok Sky Dome before leaving for Hangzhou on the 28th. The national team in Group B will play Hong Kong on the 1st of next month, Taiwan on the 2nd, and then face a weaker country that passed the preliminary round on the 3rd. Afterwards, the first and second places in Groups A and B advance to the Super Round to determine the countries that advance to the finals.

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