‘A springboard’ and ‘an opportunity to grow.
This is what Yoo Soo-young (21-Korea Disability Employment Agency), Jeong Eul-wol (20-Korea Disability Employment Agency), and Lee Jung-soo (17-Former Daebago), recipients of the Basic Training Program, who participated in the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, said.
The Korea Para Sports Federation has been conducting the ‘Basic Sports Development Project’ since 2018. The project is aimed at discovering the next generation of Para athletes and replacing the national team. In badminton, Yoo Soo-soo, Jeong Eul-wol, and Lee Jung-soo have grown and stood out through the program.
Jung was closely coached from 2018 to 2021, Yoo Soo-soo from 2019 to 2022, and Lee Jung-soo from 2020 to 2022. They were also provided with the necessary equipment for their training and were able to focus on their athletic development. All three are competing in their first Para Asian Games and are aiming high at the Hangzhou Para Asian Games.
Yoo “Ace” Sooyoung defeated Zhao Xin (CHN) 2-0 in straight sets in the Men’s Singles WH2 Round 2 (Group D) at Binjiang Gymnasium in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China on Nov. 21. It was the second straight victory for Yoo, who defeated Al Jabouni Mohammed Jaafar Ahmed (UAE) on Tuesday. It was a better performance after a strong win.
Yoo said, “I think it was a chance for me to grow quickly. Originally, I was unable to exercise, but as I trained steadily, my skills improved rapidly,” Yoo said, adding that the nurturing program gave her a foothold for growth.
Lee Jung-soo is no different. Considered a “newcomer,” he defeated Ulazia (Pakistan) 2-0 in the Men’s Singles SU5 Round 1 (Group C) on April 20. “It gave me the opportunity to focus on doing my best in every training,” Lee said of the program.
Lee also set a new record for the youngest participant in the tournament, surpassing swimmer Kim Yoon-ji (born June 14, 2006) on Day 4. He said, “I’m young, but as I’m in a big competition, I just think I have to work harder. I want to finish in the top three.”
Chung likened it to a “stepping stone. When we spoke to her after her Women’s Singles WH2 Round 2 (Group B) match on the 21st, she said, “The nurturing program has been very helpful in my training. Without it, I might not be here today. It gave me a foothold,” she said.
Para badminton, which is divided into wheelchair and standing categories, has been an official Paralympic sport since the 16th Tokyo 메이저토토사이트 Paralympic Games. Korea has been performing consistently on the international stage, and since the Tokyo Paralympic Games, the sport has been gaining momentum in Asia.
With a three-way tie between China, Japan, and Korea, the Koreans are targeting a total of seven medals – two gold, one silver, and four bronze – at the Games.