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Fast and Furious for Sung-ho

Posted December. 17, 2002 22:40,   


It was in the ice rink in Choonchun, where the 2002 Kangwondo Cup Korea Ice Hockey 2nd League started yesterday.

Just before the game, Yoon Tae-woong (25) of Dongwon Dreams said, "Kind of anxious." He recalled, "I forgot almost about it. Looking at the uniform of Sung-ho hung on the stand, I thought about the accident one month ago."

What Yoon means by the accident was the death of Choi Sung-ho (21) in a game against Kwangwoon Univ. on November 19 in the same rink. Yoon`s shooting hit Choi in the chest and Choi died of its impact.

After this accident, Yoon almost gave up. But Choi`s father encouraged and persuaded him into resuming ice hockey again.

Yesterday`s game against Yensei University was the first one for Yoon, ever since the misfortune 28 days ago. Ironically, this first game took place in the same rink where the misfortune took place. No wonder he got anxious. Players of both teams had a moment of silence just prior to the beginning of the game.

10 seconds after the "kickoff," Yoon hit a shoot near the half line. It was the sweep shoot that caused Choi`s death 29 days ago. Yoon would not hesitate to engage in a bold, threatening body checking.

At the same time in Seoul, Choi`s father, along with Choi`s sister Young-jin (25), was watching this game on TV. Choi, who has adopted Yoon as his son, said, "People might feel out of place at my presence. In addition, I guess I will think of Sung-ho. So, I will not take in a game for some time."

The game ended up a tie 2-2. Dongwon held on to its second position with 7 wins. Yoon, who lost 13kg to the agony for the past one month, said, soaked in sweats, "Physically, I had no problem. But I couldn`t do my best, though." After returning to the locker room, Yoon picked up his cellular phone to call his adoptive father Choi.

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com