‘Equestrian Park Ji-sung’ dreams of Hwang Young-sik “I will close the gap with Europe in Paris”

After dramatically qualifying for the Paris Olympics, South Korean dressage ace Hwang Young-sik dreams of becoming the Park Ji-sung of equestrianism.

He wants to contribute to closing the gap between Europe, the center of the world’s equestrian world, and Korea, which is on the periphery.

“I want to close the gap between Germany and Europe through the Olympics,” said Hwang, who was confirmed to compete in the Paris Olympics on Aug. 28, in a phone conversation with Yonhap News Agency.

“I thought of the Olympics as such an opportunity, so I kept preparing and challenging myself whether it worked out or not,” Hwang said, adding, “I want to help the Korean equestrian world get closer to the level of Germany.”

When asked if he would like to play the same role as Jeonbuk Hyundai’s technical director Park Ji-sung, who has helped Korean athletes go abroad by playing in Europe, the center of world soccer, Hwang said, “It’s a great compliment. I’m very happy if you think so,” he laughed.

“Right now, the Korean equestrian world is in a lot of decline. But it’s great for an unpopular sport to be in the Olympics so consistently in recent years, from Athena 2004, Beijing 2008, Rio de Janeiro 2016, Tokyo 2020 and Paris,” he said.

South Korean equestrian competed at Tokyo 1964, Seoul 1988, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, Rio de Janeiro 2016, Tokyo 2020, and now Paris.

Hwang Young-sik had to work hard to qualify.

Individual dressage berths are awarded based on an “Olympic Ranking,” which is a compilation of athletes’ performance in competitions, and the number of berths is limited by the FEI.

Originally, she was competing with an Indian athlete for a spot in Group G, which includes Southeast Asia and Oceania, including South Korea, but narrowly missed out on a spot in Paris.

However, no Palestinian athlete qualified for Group F, which encompasses Africa and the Middle East, leaving Palestine with one ticket to Paris.

In a dramatic twist of fate, Hwang Young-sik, the highest scoring rider in the group, was awarded a spot in the Olympics due to FEI rules. Hwang’s hard work in accumulating ranking points at various competitions has paid off.

For Hwang, who missed out on the Tokyo Olympics, it’s a significant achievement.

“After the Incheon Asian Games, where my performance was at its peak, I left everything behind and went abroad to compete in the Olympics. I was very attached to the Olympics, but the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) caused many problems before the Tokyo Olympics,” he recalled.

He won back-to-back gold medals at the 2010 Guangzhou and 2014 Incheon Asian Games, making him the face of Korean dressage.

With his sights set on the Olympics beyond Asia, he traveled to Germany to focus on accumulating ranking points, and actually qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Games in 2021.

However, he never actually competed. The situation changed when the FEI introduced new regulations following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FEI would recognize the qualification, but it would have to be reconfirmed by competing at least once at a certain level of competition and performing above the standard.

Hwang, who had been in Europe, was unable to compete due to an epidemic of equine infectious diseases in the region.

The athlete who received Hwang’s ticket at the time was Dong-sun Kim, the third son of Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-yeon and head of Hanwha Galleria’s strategy division.

“If Dong-sun hadn’t been selected, Korea’s place would have gone elsewhere,” says Hwang. I’m very grateful that Dong-sun was selected and created the opportunity for Korea to compete in the Olympics,” said Hwang.

“Although it was late, I also got my ticket to the Olympics this time,” he said, adding, “I have many friends in Korea who are good horse riders. I hope I can play a role as a bridge between them and Europe by doing well in this competition,” he said.

“I want to show (Europeans) that an athlete from Asia is not afraid and enjoys the big stage,” he added.

Hwang will be competing in dressage, an event in which riders and horses compete to see how well they coordinate while following a set path around the arena, with judges evaluating the performance of both rider and horse.

Dressage and other equestrian events are held at the Palace of Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Paris that is an iconic symbol of France. 온라인카지노사이트

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