The bold decision to cut at age 25 ended up being a ‘act of God.’ The 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team succeeded in achieving both cause and benefit.
The baseball team, led by coach Ryu Joong-il, won 2-0 in the Asian Games final against Chinese Taipei held on the 7th. With this, Korea took the top spot for the fourth time in a row since the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.
This national team took a different direction from the previous three times. In the meantime, the baseball team participating in the Asian Games was equipped with the most elite team. In the 2010 Guangzhou tournament, even major leaguer Choo Shin-soo appeared, and even after the regular season was suspended, star players were selected from each team.
However, controversy arose over whether or not several players would be selected for the 2018 Jakarta/Palembang Games. In the end, national team coach Sun Dong-yeol suffered difficulties such as attending the National Assembly audit. Accordingly, the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) declared that it would not suspend the league in the 2022 tournament and decided to field players under the age of 24. Due to COVID-19, the competition was postponed by a year, and the selection criteria were ultimately set at 25 years of age or younger and 4 years of professional experience or younger.
Accordingly, the KBO and the Korea Baseball Softball Association selected 22 of the 24 finalists that met the criteria, excluding wild cards Park Se-woong (28, Lotte) and Choi Won-jun (26, KIA).스포츠토토
And these young players showed great success in the competition with their spirit and passion. In particular, the four players born in 2003, Moon Dong-ju (Hanwha), Park Young-hyun (KT), Yoon Dong-hee (Lotte), and Choi Ji-min (KIA), led the national team to the top by showing performances that did not match their age at each difficult time. Thanks to this, young players can gain experience with the national team and lay a foundation for the next few years.
I also took advantage of practical benefits. Of the total 24 players, 19 who had not completed military service were transferred to arts and sports personnel by winning gold medals and received special military service exemption. The number of players who have not completed their military service has increased significantly compared to the last competition (9 people).
Ryu Joong-il-ho put a lot of thought into selecting players, and started the competition amidst some criticism. However, in the end, he achieved a ‘happy ending’ by killing two birds with one stone.