‘Elementary School Friends’ to National University Roommates to ’03s’ Gold Medal Winners “We made this happen!” [Interview in Hangzhou]

“It’s going to be such a happy memory, there was so much synergy, it was just simmering.”

Most of the athletes were still repeating the phrase ‘like a dream’.

They literally held the gold medal in their arms. The South Korean baseball team, led by Ryu Jung-il, topped the podium after beating Chinese Taipei in the final of the Hangzhou Asian Games on Sunday.

The players’ eyes were tired as they prepared to fly home from Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport on Aug. 8. Six games in one week, a game that ended late the day before, and, crucially, a pounding heart.

Moon Dong-joo. Yonhap News Agency

Choi Ji-min. Yonhap News Agency
Unlike the coaching staff, the players are still in season. They shared their joy with a small party befitting the late hour rather than a loud after-party.

Among them, the four players born in 2003 were even more special. Moon Dong-joo, Choi Ji-min, Park Young-hyun, and Yoon Dong-hee led the team to victory with some of the best performances in their respective fields.

While the spotlight was on Moon for his six-inning, 7K monster pitch in the final, the other ’03s received plenty of attention.

Moon, Choi Ji-min, and Park Young-hyun were the three who traveled together to the 2021 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Under-18 Baseball World Cup, which was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Korea’s second game against Chinese Taipei in Group B of the baseball tournament at the Hangzhou Asian Games at Xiaoxing Baseball Stadium in Hangzhou, China, on Feb. 2. Yoon Dong-hee hits her team’s first hit, a two-run double, in the second inning. Hangzhou (China) = Song Jung-heon 기자songs@sportschosun.com/2023.10.02/
His aggressive pitching was evident as he struck out three batters in a row. “I didn’t aim for it, but I was confident. It was just a good ball on a good course,” he said modestly. “I didn’t aim for it, but I was very confident,” he said, adding that he didn’t expect to grow so much in just one year.

As for his future, he said, “If I throw one bad pitch, the whole team…the pressure was amazing. I want to continue to play for the national team,” he said, adding, “I also have a desire for international competitions, and the expectation of a strong opponent, and I think I can become a good pitcher by overcoming that.”

Korea’s baseball team plays Chinese Taipei in the second inning of their baseball group B match at the Hangzhou Asian Games at Xiaoxing Baseball Stadium in Hangzhou, China, on Nov. 2. Park Young-hyun overcomes a bases-loaded situation in the sixth inning. Hangzhou (China)=Song Jung-heon 기자songs@sportschosun.com/2023.10.02/
“I’ve been best friends with Yun Dong-hui since childhood,” Park laughed.

“It’s very special. We’ve known each other since elementary school, and she’s been a very supportive friend, but now we’ve become national teammates, roommates, and won a gold medal together. I’m happy.”

Park Young-hyun smiled, saying, “Can I say that (Moon) Dong-joo and (Choi) Jimin won the championship that Gongsamz created?” “We all wanted to contribute to the team, and that created a synergy with each other.”

Yoon Dong-hee being interviewed at the airport. Reporter Kim Young-rok
Yoon also said, “When I was born in 2003, I realized that I had a lot of friends who were good at baseball. I’m also very proud that I’m one of them,” he laughed.

When asked, “What was it like throwing Moon Dong-joo,” he replied, “캡틴토토It was unbelievable! Moon, who was standing right next to him, said, “You can say it louder. Borrow a loudspeaker at the airport,” he retorted.

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