Koo Bon-gil (34, Korea Sports Promotion Foundation), a living legend and a symbol of Korean men’s fencing, takes on the challenge of creating a new history of Korean sports in Hangzhou, China. He confidently declares, “I am the prince of Asia,” and is preparing to run vigorously toward the gold medal.
Starting with the gold medal in the men’s individual event at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, Koo Bon-gil swept the men’s individual and team gold medals at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, and holds a total of five Asian Games gold medals to date.
On the Olympic stage, he won gold medals in the team event in London in 2012 and Tokyo in 2021, and at the World Championships, he took the top spot in the team event four times: Leipzig in 2017, Wuxi in 2018, Budapest in 2019, and Cairo in 2022, leaving behind a career that is difficult for anyone to surpass.
In the case of the Asian Games, he is the only fencing legend to have achieved three consecutive individual wins, and if he wins the gold medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games, he will break his own record of consecutive losses at the Asian Games.
Gu Bon-gil has no intention of stopping his ‘golden stabbing’ because of this. If he wins the individual and team events at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, he can become the main character with the record of winning the most gold medals at the Asian Games by a Korean athlete, so he is more motivated than anyone else.
To date, five people, including swimming Park Tae-hwan, equestrian Seo Jeong-gyun, fencing Nam Hyun-hee, bowling Ryu Seo-yeon, and archery Nam Chang-hoon, are tied for first place with a total of six gold medals, the most gold medals by a Korean player in the Asian Games history.
Even if Gu Bon-gil adds just one individual or team gold medal, he can stand shoulder to shoulder with the legends in each event. If he wins two gold medals at the Hangzhou Asian Games, he will reach an unprecedented level that no other Korean athlete has reached.메이저놀이터
Koo Bon-gil also said, a month before the opening of the Hangzhou Asian Games, “I believe that this opportunity is not given to everyone, so I will work hard to achieve it.” He added, “Compared to Guangzhou in 2010, when I participated in the first Asian Games, I felt better at the time. “I’m not in good physical condition. However, if I think of it as the last time and overcome it with my mental strength, I think I can achieve my dream,” he said, already announcing his candidacy.
Koo Bon-gil fell into a slump after winning the gold medal in the team event at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, but he personally proved the sports world’s adage that ‘class is eternal.’ After spreading the wings of revival with a silver medal at the Italian Grand Prix of Padua in May last year, he completed his emergency preparations in Hangzhou by experiencing the joy of winning the individual and team events at the Asian Championships in June 2022. He showed that he is still competitive on the world stage by winning a bronze medal in the individual event at the Budapest World Cup last March.
Korean fencing desperately needs the performance of ‘eldest brother’ Koo Bon-gil at the Hangzhou Asian Games. The men’s saber team failed to produce a winner in the individual event at the world championships last July. While the team is faltering after failing to win five consecutive team events, Koo Bon-gil needs to show the strength of a veteran.
At the Asian Games national team selection ceremony on the 12th, Koo Bon-gil said, “I’m excited because the opening of the competition is just around the corner, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to Hangzhou just to have fun.” He added, “My preparations are going well so far, and I’m in good shape at the domestic competition where I participated to improve my condition.” “It was okay,” he said confidently.
He also joked, “I am confident (in the Hangzhou Asian Games). Am I not the prince of Asia again?” and added, “As I said in other interviews, this Hangzhou Asian Games is a competition where I can set many records, so I will focus more and be more thorough.” “We are preparing well,” he emphasized.
Meanwhile, Koo Bon-gil will be the team’s flag bearer along with Kim Seo-young of the swimming team at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games to be held on the 23rd. While he experienced the glorious moment of representing the Korean team as the flag bearer at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, this time he plans to show his proud steps as the face of Korean sports at Asia’s best sports festival.