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Daewoo Securities’ Ping Pong Team Ready to Take Off

Posted May. 12, 2007 08:26,   


For the past three years, Kim Taek-soo (37, picture) has been known to be a quiet person. Recently, however, he has become talkative. He raised his voice about the great goal of Daewoo Securities’ ping pong team, which was re-launched on May 4, and about the future direction of Korean ping pong.

Persuasion of Daewoo Securities to Re-launch its Ping Pong Team-

On May 10, the team’s training room in Victory Hall of Korea Sport National University was full of the sound of balls hitting tables, shouts, and coaches’ voices.

Head Coach Kim asked, “Can you feel their hot passion?” He looked confident. I have never seen him so enthusiastic.

“You know my ping pong style. I always attack; smash balls into the opponent’s court. That’s ‘Kim Taek-soo style ping pong.’ I’ll show my colors from now on. Daewoo Securities will have its own color. I’ll make women players play like men.”

Kim has been thirsty for his own color and his own presence. A national team player for 17 years from 1987 to 2004, the longest-standing participant among Korean ping pong players, he has been in the shadow of men’s national team head coach Yoo Nam-gyu (39, 1988 Seoul Olympic gold medalist), who is two years older, and Yoo Seung-min (25, 2004 Athens Olympic gold medalist).

Kim said, “As a matter of fact, I’m more famous in China and Japan. They want to have me.”

To Make the Team Number One in Three Years-

Kim has been the driving force in re-launching Daewoo Securities’ ping pong team, a hot topic in the ping pong circle. He was the team’s leading player for 14 years until Daewoo Securities was taken over by KT&G Corporation in 2000. He stayed on the team to become head coach, but could not forget Daewoo Securities.

When Daewoo Securities was revived as it made a four trillion won aggregate value of listed stock this year, Kim went to see Daewoo Securities President Sohn Bok-jo. The company wanted only a men’s team, but he persuaded it to launch men’s and women’s teams. Needless to say, he was to head-coach the team.

He said, “Daewoo Securities had funds to attract star-level players, but I wanted to create something out of nothing.” With the help of other companies’ teams, three men and three women, who were mostly unknown players, were recruited. With these players, he is planning to make his team number one.

To Become a Success Model-

Passionate about ping pong, Kim is also living cool outside of the ping pong court. Married to archery star Kim Jo-soon (32) with one son and one daughter, he is a family guy. He drives Volkswagen’s luxury model car, Phaeton, and enjoys playing golf.

Kim said, “I want to show that you can live a successful life if you play ping pong well. Do I look nice? You can become like me when you work hard.”

kimsk@donga.com sannae@donga.com