Archery Ansan “A world where only first place is remembered? I’m proud of silver medals too!”
Although she was unfortunately far from winning the individual title, Ansan (Gwangju Women’s University) gave herself a passing grade for a fiercely competitive year.
Speaking to reporters at the Grand Walkerhill Seoul Hotel in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, on the first day of the ’60th Anniversary of Korean Archery’ celebration, An looked back on 2023 as a “very confusing” time.
An is the first Korean archer to win a triple Olympic archery title at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. He was recognized for his achievement with a plaque at the ceremony.
Nevertheless, preparing for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, which took place this year, was not easy.
“At the Tokyo Olympics, I was able to focus on the Olympics (due to COVID-19), but this year was my first cycle with so many international competitions. It was very confusing in terms of conditioning,” she said.
After an intense national selection and evaluation period, the team had a hectic schedule of World Cups and World Championships before heading to the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games in September.
Anshan won a combined three World Cup titles in the women’s team competition, but struggled to reach the individual podium. She won a bronze medal at the second World Cup in Shanghai.
In the meantime, junior Lim Im-hyun (Korea Gymnastics Federation) has become a force to be reckoned with.
In the end, she was the one who shone the brightest in Hangzhou. She defeated An San in the individual final to win the triple crown.
However, there was no disappointment on An San’s face.
“In a world where only supporting actors and actresses and first place are remembered, I think a silver medal in the (individual) event is worthwhile and something to be proud of, rather than those words,” An said.
“I’ve always thought of the team competition as more important than the individual competition. A gold medal in the team event, I want to evaluate myself only on what I did well.”
Ansan’s challenge continues next year. This time, it’s Paris 2024.
To qualify for the Olympics, she will have to pass the national team trials, which are said to be more difficult than the Olympics, as she will have to compete against seniors and juniors.
“This year has been very busy, intense, and crazy,” An said, adding, “I will do my best to train in the new year so that I can compete in the Paris Olympics.” 파워볼