In a year of nonstop action, the Blue Bloods Ace’s crowning achievement is the
“Winning the gold medal is the most valuable achievement.”
The Hangzhou Asian Games have come to an end, but the afterglow of victory is still lingering. He was upset that he hadn’t been able to perform as well as he would have liked while wearing the tricolor, but not anymore. He has a smile on his face now that he’s won the tournament and performed well individually. This is the story of Won Tae-in, the ‘blue-blooded ace’ of the Samsung Lions.먹튀검증
“It still doesn’t feel real,” he told reporters before the Samsung Lions’ 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League game against SSG Landers at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu on Thursday. I keep looking up videos of the Asian Games. I still feel good,” he said, sharing his thoughts on winning the gold medal at the Asian Games.
Won’s performance was one of the reasons Korean baseball won the gold medal at the tournament. Won pitched four innings of one-hit ball with no walks and eight strikeouts against Hong Kong in the preliminary round, then threw six innings of three-hit ball with no walks and six strikeouts against China in the second game of the Super Round. Executed his duties flawlessly.
Won said, “I’ve heard a lot of people say that China is a double-header. Our final goal was to win the gold medal, and we knew we had to do well against China, who were at the threshold of the final. I was nervous and felt a lot of responsibility, but the result was good. I watched the final with a relaxed, but not relaxed mindset.”
Won, who first donned the Korean flag at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, was selected for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) and then the Hangzhou Asian Games. The experience and pain of the previous tournaments helped him grow. “The Olympics and WBC are actually bigger events than the Asian Games,” Won said. I didn’t perform well, but I was able to learn a lot about baseball. At the Asian Games, I realized how much better I could play baseball when I was part of a team.”
For Won Tae-in, it was his first time playing in an international tournament. “Even before I left the country, I said a lot of times, ‘Life is three games,'” he said. It was good to get a good result. It was different when I went through the airport immigration. I walked in with my head down, but this time I walked in with the gold medal around my neck and a big smile on my face. It was great to come back to the cheers of my fans. I had mixed feelings when I saw them. I hadn’t been eating right and I was playing under pressure. My body was tired, but my spirits were soaring, and I’ve never felt that way before,” he smiled.
Won Tae-in (left) talks to the home fans about winning the Asian Games gold medal before the game against SSG in Daegu on Thursday. Samsung Lions
For the first time, the Hangzhou Asian Games offered an age bracket. With the exception of three wild cards, the team consisted of players aged 24 or younger and in their third year of professional competition. Despite being criticized as the weakest team in history, they won the gold medal, signaling a generational change in Korean baseball. The players are proud.
“We often heard that we were the weakest team ever,” says Won Tae-in. We wanted to prove them wrong. If we do well, I think there could be a baseball boom again. In the future, there will be the APBC, Premier 12, and WBC, but I want the players who went to the Asian Games to come back and do well. We often talked about that among the players.”
Won Tae-in has been on a roll this year. He started his season earlier than usual by competing in the WBC in March. In addition to the regular season, he also traveled to the Asian Games, which kept him on a tight schedule. It’s been a busy year, and the results are clear. In 25 regular-season games, Won went 7-6 with a 3.17 ERA and 17 quality starts (six innings of three earned runs or less). To top it all off, he won a gold medal.
“The gold medal,” Won replied when asked what his best achievement was this year. “I gained valuable experience at the WBC. I learned a lot. I learned a lot of things, from how to work out to how to run a game. That’s why I was able to perform well this season, and I won the gold medal based on my experience. I feel like I’ve been rewarded for my hard work. The quality start was a career high, but the gold medal is the best achievement.”
Before the start of the season, Won said he wanted to prove people wrong by saying, “Isn’t Won Tae-in ambiguous? She had become an ace for Samsung and was recognized as an international pitcher. “Actually, it’s not my job to evaluate, is it? I can’t speak for myself, but I would like the evaluation to be different if that question came up. I did my best,” he said, adding that he hoped the favorable reviews would continue.
Rest is also important. He plans to take plenty of rest for next year. “My coaches told me a lot about the importance of rest,” Won said. I think I will start training slowly in spring camp next year. I’m going to rest well this winter.”
With the gold medal at the Asian Games, Won resolved the issue of military service. “Now I can play baseball without a gap,” he said. I’m grateful. It was my biggest concern. I thought I would have to go to the army after this year, so I didn’t have an off-season plan yet. Now that I can play baseball without a break, I will make a good plan and do better,” he concluded the interview.