13 gold medals, men’s short track ‘Park Ji-won era’

13 gold, 5 silver and 1 bronze medals. This is the result of Park Ji-won (27, Seoul City Hall), a short track national team member, in six international competitions in the 2022-23 season. Park Ji-won won a total of 19 medals at the 5 World Cup and Four Continents Championships, emerging as a signboard of Korean short track speed skating.

In the 5th competition of the International Skating Union (ISU) Short Track World Cup held in Dresden, Germany from the 3rd to the 6th, Park Ji-won’s performance was brilliant. He won his 5th gold medal of the season in the main event, 1500m, and also showed strength in this category by winning his 4th gold medal of the season in 1000m.

In particular, in the 1500m final, he held a sweaty race until the end and harvested a valuable gold medal. The gap with second place Sinky Knecht (34, Netherlands) is only 0.011 seconds. The push of the skate edge decided the game, and Park Ji-won took first place after video review. In the 1000m final, he won the gold medal by beating Roberts Kreuzbergs (22, Latvia) by 0.099 seconds.

Park Ji-won, who won two gold medals in this World Cup, is on the verge of winning the overall championship while holding on to the top spot in the World Cup rankings. Park Ji-won, who won 11 gold medals in five World Cup tournaments this season, has a ranking of 868 points. It is far ahead of second place Hong Gyeong-hwan (24, Goyang City Hall) with 634 points. In fact, victory is certain. Park Ji-won regains the throne in three seasons after winning the overall championship in the 2019-20 season.

In fact, not many people expected the Korean short track to perform well this season. This is because 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics medalists such as ace Hwang Dae-heon (24, Korea National University of Physical Education), Kwak Yoon-gi (33, Goyang City Hall), and Lee Yu-bin (22, Uijeongbu City Hall) gave up the Taegeuk mark for reasons of injury and rest.

The gaze toward Park Ji-won was the same. He did not stand out much except for the 2019-20 season, when he won the World Cup overall. There is no Olympic experience, such as the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Games. In the national team selection match, he drank a lot, and in the meantime, his position was overtaken by colleagues and juniors such as Lim Hyo-jun (27, Chinese name Lin Shao-jun) and Hwang Dae-heon. Even at this event, where many Olympic medalists were absent, few expected Park Ji-won.

However, Park Ji-Won shook off all concerns and stood proudly on the top of the podium. As the captain of the men’s national team, he led his juniors and achieved favorable results for the men’s team. Hong Gyeong-hwan, who has been on the World Cup stage for the first time in four seasons, also ranked second in the overall rankings, and Kim Tae-seong (21, Dankook University), who was on the international stage for the first time, also received a World Cup medal around his neck to nourish himself.

Park Ji-won, who is about to win his second World Cup, is also aiming for the ‘Crystal Globe’ award. In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Short Track World Cup, the ISU will present a crystal glove to the best male and female athlete starting this season. Park Ji-won, the ‘male number one’, is, of course, the most influential candidate. She competes for the crystal glove with Susan Schulting (26, Netherlands), the first female player. 메이저놀이터

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