“I feel a great sense of responsibility because I think the future of our players is the future of table tennis in Korea.”
Kang Hee-chan (53), coach of the Korean Air table tennis team, is carrying out the women’s season of the Korea Professional Table Tennis League (KTTL) Korea League with a great sense of responsibility this season. This is because Lee Seung-eun, Choi Ye-seo, and Park Ga-hyeon (aged 16 or older), who are about to graduate from middle school at the end of last year, were recruited at the same time. As they, including the existing Shin Yu-bin (19), are being pointed out as the vanguard of the Korean women’s table tennis leap forward, joy and burden coexist as coach Kang.
The average age of the nine members of the Korean Air team is 21.5 years old. Compared to competing teams Samsung Life Insurance (7 players, 21.7 years old), POSCO International (6 players, 23.3 years old), Korea Racing Association (6 players, 23.6 years old), and Mirae Asset Securities (6 players, 25.5 years old), the team has the largest size and average age. is the youngest
However, Korean Air, with 7 wins and 7 losses and 28 points as of the 13th, is closely following lead Posco International (9 wins and 4 losses, 32 points) and second place Samsung Life Insurance (9 wins and 5 losses, 32 points). In the process, Lee Seung-eun (0-2), Choi Ye-seo (0-4), and Park Ga-hyun (3-8) are all steadily gaining opportunities to participate. Coach Kang, a bronze medalist in men’s doubles at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, might want to create the best lineup for immediate results, but he runs the team with the idea that the future of Korean table tennis is to nurture and hire promising players. 안전놀이터
Director Kang met with Sports Donga and said, “With the full support of the parent company, we were able to recruit the strongest players in the female midfield. It is true that he is still young and cautious in terms of communication,” but “A good environment, training, and support are important. I want to grow into a player with international competitiveness,” he explained.
Korean Air has experience in fostering and managing Shin Yu-bin in the past. Utilizing this experience, Lee Seung-eun, Choi Ye-seo, and Park Ga-hyeon went on to broadcasting and communication high schools, and they helped them stay with their families by using an employee apartment located a 5-minute walk from the training ground. These efforts are gradually bearing fruit as Park Ga-hyun recently won the singles match with Joo Chun-hee (21, Samsung Life Insurance) and won the WTT Youth Star Contender Under 19 Women’s Doubles.
Director Kang said, “Since table tennis has compatibility, I will continue to give opportunities as long as I am well prepared.” “I feel proud and responsible throughout this season. The goal is to catch both the team’s performance and their growth,” he said with strength.