23 years old, third Taegeuk mark… Won Tae-in doesn’t mind playing a supporting role
Won Tae-in (23-Samsung Lions) has already earned his third flag for the Korean baseball team at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games. First named to the national team at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Won also anchored South Korea’s mound at the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). He continued to excel in the KBO, and will now head to the Asian Games under Ryu Joong-il.
Speaking to reporters after the final training session for the Hangzhou Asian Games at the Gocheok Sky Dome on Sunday, Won said, “I was disappointed in my previous two international competitions. This time, I want to make up for it by performing really well. I feel good and proud when I see the Taeguk mark. It’s an honor, but it also gives me a sense of responsibility. I will throw my best in any position I am given, and I think good results will come out of it,” he said, vowing to excel at the Asian Games.
Won Tae-in has been a consistent starter for Samsung. In 25 games this season, he has a 7-6 record with a 3.17 ERA. He had 17 quality starts (six innings of three earned runs or less). He ranks third in ERA and second in quality starts among Korean pitchers. No pitcher on the national team has a better pitching record than Won Tae-in.
But Wontaein did not humble himself. Instead, he praised his teammates. He said he would put aside his desire to start and dedicate himself to the team. He said he would play a supportive role for his teammates as long as they could achieve their goal of winning gold. 카지노사이트
“I really don’t want to start,” Won said. I don’t think you can be greedy at the Asian Games. There are so many pitchers who are better than me. My role can be to support them well. I don’t mind starting or bullpen. I’m just trying to do the best I can under the circumstances,” he said.
With the Hangzhou Games being held a year later due to COVID-19, the Korean baseball team was comprised of players aged 24 or younger and in their fourth year of professional competition. The presence of peers made the younger players feel more comfortable.
“It’s like a youth national team,” says Won Tae-in, “because it’s just our peers. We can joke with each other comfortably. It also creates a more cohesive atmosphere, and because the goal is clear, the players are united as one. During the competition, we can joke with each other and let go of the pressure,” he laughed.
Won Tae-in has his eyes set on gold. It will be interesting to see if the Hangzhou Asian Games can erase the pain of the Tokyo Olympics and the 2023 WBC.