Reporter Kim Hee-joon = Park Ji-won (27, Seoul City Hall), the ace of the Korean men’s short track team who has risen to the top of the world, made a ‘golden homecoming’ while holding the crystal trophy.
Park Ji-won, who won 14 gold medals and 4 silver medals in the 1st to 6th competitions of the 2022-2023 International Skating Union (ISU) Short Track World Cup, returned to Korea via Incheon Airport on the afternoon of the 14th.
It is truly a golden favourite. Park Ji-won, who was close to unknown, had a splendid season.
Park Ji-won, who announced the emergence of a new ace by sweeping three gold medals in the first World Cup this season, collected one gold medal and three silver medals in the second competition, and won one gold medal and two silver medals in the third competition.
Park Ji-won, who won three gold medals in the 4th competition and two gold medals in the 5th competition, continued her ace appearance by winning 3 gold medals in the 6th competition, the last World Cup this season.
Park Ji-won earned 1068 points in the World Cup rankings and ranked first in the individual overall in the 2022-2023 World Cup. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the World Cup this season, the ISU awarded the special trophy, the Crystal Globe, to the men and women who ranked first in overall results from the 1st to 6th World Cup competitions.
Park Ji-won smiled, saying, “I’m so happy to be the first protagonist of a cool and beautiful trophy called the Crystal Globe. I don’t think I can feel that joy yet.”
When asked how he felt when he held the trophy in his arms, Park Ji-won said, “I had mixed feelings. I remembered all the matches from the 1st to 6th World Cup tournaments. I remembered the difficult games as well as the ones that went well.”
In an interview with the ISU official website after the 6th World Cup, which ended in Dordrecht, the Netherlands on the 13th, Park Ji-won said, “I was worried about how to carry such a big trophy on a plane and take it home.” I brought it carefully so that the interior materials were completely filled so that they would not break.”
Park Ji-won, who also said in an interview with ISU, “I will keep the crystal trophy by my side when I eat and when I sleep,” said, “It is a very precious trophy. I will go to my parents’ house and briefly show it to my parents, and I will take it to the athletes’ village. When I lie down and when I wake up. I will put it in the most visible place. I will look at it at the beginning and end of the day and think about it.”
Park Ji-won, who wore the Taegeuk mark for the first time in the 2015-2016 season, did not see the light due to Hwang Dae-heon (Gangwon Provincial Office) and Lin Xiaojun (Chinese/Korean name Lim Hyo-jun). He also had a rough time with injuries.
At the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, he swallowed regret as he failed to break through the national team selection event.
Park Ji-won, who was unable to make his name on the national team for the 2020-2021 season and the 2021-2022 season, returned to the national team after three years and was reborn as the ace of the men’s national team without Hwang Dae-heon.
Park Ji-won said, “I prepared more perfectly during the three years that I was not selected for the national team, and I wanted to show what I had prepared. Foreign players could have forgotten me for a while, but I wanted to make them remember my name once again.” .
He went on to say, “The secret to my good results was that I did not stick to the same thing every time, but raced according to the situation on a short track with many variables.”
When asked to pick the best race this season, Park Ji-won chose the men’s 1000m final at the 6th World Cup. At the time, Park Ji-won was in the lower ranks with 3 laps to go, but boasted explosive speed on the last lap and overtook him on the out-course and crossed the finish line first. 토토사이트
Park Ji-won said, “The 6th World Cup 1000m final was the final match of the World Cup series. I wanted to take first place more than any other time.” The question mark of ‘what if’ has changed to an exclamation mark.”
Park Ji-won, who competed for the lead with Lin Xiaojun as the final runner in the men’s 5000m relay final at the 6th World Cup, said, “I knew who I was racing with. He didn’t think of anything special.”
Park Ji-won, who also showed the ‘click ceremony’ of Son Heung-min (Tottenham), who is active in the English Premier League (EPL) after winning the gold medal in the World Cup, said, “I am a fan of Son Heung-min and I like soccer, so I often watch the game. Player Son Heung-min is the captain of the soccer team, and as the captain (of the short track team), I have a lot to learn,” he said. “I held the ceremony with that in mind.”
After successfully completing the World Cup series this season, Park Ji-Won’s eyes are on the Short Track World Championships to be held at the Indoor Ice Rink in Mok-dong, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul on March 10-12.
In the 2015-2016 season, when Park Ji-won first stepped on the senior stage, the World Championships were held in Seoul.
Park Ji-won said, “The place where I made my debut at the Senior World Championships was Seoul. I will do my best to get it,” he said.