After winning the baseball gold medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games, Na Gyun-an (Lotte Giants)’s face was uncharacteristically bright as he video chatted with Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes), while his eldest brother Park Se-woong (Lotte) couldn’t hide his joy.
The “Lotte Asian Games gold medal trio,” Na Kyun-ahn, Park Se-woong and Yoon Dong-hee, returned to Lotte in time for their team’s game against the LG Twins at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Sept. 9 and began training to the applause of their teammates.
As they walked to and from the dugout, the emotions of their Asian Games gold medals were still fresh on their faces.
Most importantly, they said they had gotten a taste of winning that they hadn’t experienced in the pros.
“I’ve never won a championship in baseball before,” Park Se-woong said at the postgame press conference. The only gold medal I have is my brother (KT WIZ’s Park Se-jin, who won the Bonghwangdae while attending Gyeongbuk High School). I was happy to bring home the biggest one,” he said, adding, “When I experienced winning, I realized why people love winning so much. Now that I’ve won an international competition, I want to do it with my team.”
“It was my first gold medal in baseball,” said Na Gyun-an, “and I know what it feels like to win and have the players run out of the dugout. I want to feel that again with the team. It didn’t happen this year, but I want to prepare well for next year and feel it with the team.”
Yoon Dong-hee said that she had experienced winning in middle school, “I want to share this joy with Lotte. I want my teammates to feel it too. I will work even harder to win the championship.”
Currently in seventh place in the KBO, Lotte is expected to miss the postseason again this year.
The team jumped out to a commanding lead at the start of the season, but as usual, they failed to get over the summer hump.
Lotte last won the Korean Series in 1992 and has yet to win a regular season title.
Park Se-woong said, “We had a lot of expectations at the beginning of the year, but it’s a shame that we finished with a disappointing performance. We will prepare well for next season and come back in good shape,” Park promised.
After winning the gold medal, the Lotte players called their trainers to thank them, and Park Sewoong put the gold around the neck of Kwon Noo-ri, who served as a bullpen catcher for the national team.
“That’s the part of training where the team takes care of you behind the scenes,” Park said. I went to the national team with him four times, and this was the first time he performed well. I wanted to give him something for his hard work, and I thought of a way to do it.”
Yoon Dong-hee also said, “I was impressed by how Se-woong did a lot of hard work, starting with batting balls. I want to say thank you very much and thank you for your hard work.”
Lee Jung-hoo, who was selected to the team but was unable to compete due to injury, posted a photo of his video call with Na Kyun-ahn on his personal social media account shortly after the gold medal was confirmed.
“He (Jung-hoo) called me as soon as I won the gold medal. He kept telling me to do well and come to China since I was in Korea. Even before the final, he called me first, so we joked, ‘We’ll prepare your uniforms, so come to China quickly. He said, “Thank you for caring so much. 파워볼분석