“I feel like I just got back from Hangzhou….”
Kim Hye-sung (23, Kiwoom Heroes) was a gold medalist at the Hangzhou Asian Games, which concluded earlier this month. She captained the baseball team and led them to gold.
National team coach Ryu Jung-il has entrusted Kim with the captaincy once again ahead of the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC), which begins on Nov. 16. “She has leadership, and she did a good job of creating a ‘shhhhhh’ atmosphere at the Asian Games. I asked her to captain the team one more time because this is the last game of the year,” Ryu said of the decision.
Kim was Kiwoom’s starting second baseman this season, batting .333 with seven home runs and 25 doubles in 137 games. In six games at the Asian Games, she batted 2-for-9 with an OPS of 0.870.
The team trained in Daegu, South Korea, from Nov. 5 before departing for Tokyo, Japan, on Nov. 14. The team will get acclimatized to the Tokyo Dome on the 15th and will start the tournament on the 16th. Their first opponent is Australia.
Before departing, 온라인카지노 Kim Hye-sung said, “It’s been a while since I’ve been to Hangzhou, but it’s nice to have an international tournament like this. As I go again, I will fulfill my responsibilities and do my best.”
The APBC team included most of the athletes who participated in the Hangzhou Asian Games.
The age group has been lowered. The team is composed of players who are 24 years old or younger or within their third year of playing. Three wildcards are available for players aged 29 and under.
The Hangzhou Asian Games were held a year later due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the age limit was retroactively lowered to 25. Kim Hye-sung said, “I think the atmosphere is really good because the overall age is low. I hope we can keep the momentum going and perform well,” she said.
Since joining the team, Kim has become a national team regular, playing in the Tokyo Olympics, WBC, Asian Games, and APBC. “It’s always the same to play with the Taeguk mark. I will work hard with the same mindset,” he emphasized.
The tournament will be held at the Tokyo Dome, the “heart” of Japanese baseball. Kim Hye-sung said, “It’s my first time playing as a starter in the Tokyo Dome. I want to do well there,” she said, adding, “The Tokyo Dome is a very big and good ballpark. The atmosphere is great because fans come and it gets noisy when we play. The atmosphere helps me to concentrate. We gained a lot of confidence in Hangzhou, so we won’t be complacent and will do our best to achieve good results this time.”
Kim Hye-sung added, “We had a longer training camp than in Hangzhou, so we had more time to work as a team. It was cold, but we prepared well,” she said, adding, “I’m grateful for the support and will do my best to repay it.”