‘Choi Min-jung’s Successor’ Kim Gil-ri

19-year-old Kim Gil-ri (Seongnam City Hall) is the heir apparent to the ‘short track queen’ Choi Min-jung (25-Seongnam City Hall). She has vowed to take first place in the women’s overall in the new season’s World Cup series.

She spoke at a media day for the Korean short track team on Wednesday afternoon at the Mokdong Ice Rink Media Center in Yangcheon-gu, Seoul.

The South Korean team made the announcement ahead of the fourth edition of the International Ice Skating Union (ISU) Short Track World Cup in the 2023-2024 season, which will be held here from Feb. 15 to 17.

“The term ‘national team ace’ puts a lot of pressure on me,” said Kim, who has been the ace of the Korean women’s national team while Choi Min-jung has skipped this season.

However, she added, “I trained harder with the idea that I would give a great performance since I was called an ace. I want to do my best and get the ‘Crystal Globe’ by the sixth (World Cup Series) tournament.”

The Crystal Globe is awarded to the athlete who finishes first overall in the men’s and women’s World Cup Series in a season, and was created by ISU last season to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the World Cup.

For Team Korea, Park Ji-won (27-Seoul City Hall) took home the first men’s award after a stellar season last year. On the women’s side, Dutchwoman Susanne Schulting (26) was the star of the show.

Kim Gil-ri has been leading the women’s overall standings this season in the absence of Choi Min-jeong, who has been a stalwart alongside her.

Still in her teens and the youngest member of the women’s national team, Kim confidently said, “It’s my home tournament, so I’ll make up for my mistakes and try to win multiple titles.”

On the day, Park Ji-won said, “The excitement of performing well at the World Championships in Mokdong in March hasn’t cooled down yet. It’s a place I’m familiar with and have good memories of, so I’m determined to keep the momentum going.”

“I’m nervous and excited because it’s my first time competing in an international event at home,” said Kim Gun-woo (25-Sportoto), who has been ranked No. 1 in the men’s overall standings this season. I was lucky in the first three World Cups after a long absence. I hope to perform better in the fourth tournament and win the Crystal Globe.”

Ahn Joong-hyun, head coach of the South Korean team, said, “We had some creaks and misses in the relay, but it’s coming together. We will recover well and prepare for a good performance.”

The Korean men’s team will be led by Park Ji-won and Kim Gun-woo, along with Hwang Dae-heon (Gangwon Provincial Office), Jang Jang-woo (Korea University), Lee Jung-min (Korea Gymnastics University), and Seo Ira (Hwaseong City Hall).

The women’s team will be led by Kim Gil-ri, with Shim Seok-hee (Seoul Metropolitan Government), Lee So-yeon (Sportsbook), Park Ji-won (Jeonbuk Provincial Office), Park Ji-yoon (Uijeongbu City Hall), and Seo Hwi-min (Korea University).


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