Go to contents

Korean archer Oh Jin-hyeok’s tenacious challenge

Posted August. 09, 2018 07:32,   

Updated August. 09, 2018 07:32


Last summer, Oh Jin-hyeok stood at the crossroads of retirement. Given that he endured until the end of the year with pain killers, his life as an archer appeared to be reaching the end.

This reporter met him at the Jincheon athlete’s village in Northern Chungcheong Province on Wednesday. “I think I am used to the pain because I have been hurt for such a long time. When I look at my physical condition, it is not surprising for me to quit at any time," he said. "I'm trying to release the bows as long as my body allows me.”

Oh said he would be participating at the 2018 Jakarta–Palembang Asian Games, which will launch next Saturday. How could he become a member of the national archery team with two ruptured muscles? Was it not more difficult to become a national team member than winning gold medal at the Olympics? The answer to these questions is the bold decision made by Oh, who wanted to continue playing the games.

Oh transformed into a technical pitcher during the winter training season. He decreased the tension of the bow by 8 pounds to reduce the burden on his shoulder. “I became a breaking ball pitcher who throws a ball at around 140 kilometers per hour,” he said with a smile, adding that he is using a 46 pounds bow these days.

It was quite challenging for him at first as it was difficult to keep a balance. Oh has proudly become a member of the National Team by overcoming his hardship.

The 38-year-old Korean archery player is the oldest in both male and female players to participate the major games such as Olympics, Asian Games, and World Championships. He was the first South Korean male player to win a gold medal at individual games at the 2012 London Olympics. His goal at the upcoming Asian Games is to win a gold medal at the male group event. Despite claiming gold medals at individual games in 2012 Olympic Games and 2014 Incheon Asian Games, he won bronze medals in group events. “I want to stand at the podium with all of my dear colleagues,” said Oh.

Heon-Jae Lee uni@donga.com