“I’ve seen the Beijing version, too,” says gold medal-winning captain of the ‘last double play of the game’
Kim Hye-sung captained the Korean baseball team to victory at the Hangzhou Asian Games and returned home with a gold medal.
Kim Hye-sung returned home from the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games with a gold medal after captaining the Korean baseball team to victory. In an interview after her arrival, Kim said, “The tournament was fun. It was the first time I went to an international tournament as a captain, and I approached the tournament with a new mindset. I was very happy,” she said of her successful Asian Games.
In the pre-Asian Games, Kim batted 2-for-9 (7-for-24) with three home runs, six RBIs, one run scored and an OPS of .870 in six games. In the final game, 바카라사이트 she single-handedly turned a double play for the final two outs. When asked about the MVP of the tournament in the post-arrival interview, Ryu Jung-il didn’t hesitate to mention Kim Hye-sung.
“I think it’s a bit of an overstatement,” he said, “but I think the fact that we all worked together with one mind and one heart, regardless of age, from the oldest (Park) Se-woong to the youngest (Jang) Hyun-seok and (Kim) Dong-heon, led to a very good result. The power analysis team also went to the U.S. first, and thanks to the power analysis, we were well prepared, so I think we had a good result in the end.” He gave credit to everyone.
This is the first time since the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang that the Korean baseball team has won an international tournament. Kim Hye-sung, who represented South Korea at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), enjoyed the victory in only her third international tournament.
“It didn’t feel real until I received my medal at the ceremony,” said Kim. “I’ve been flying here and everyone has been saying congratulations to me every time they see me, and the fans have been so welcoming at the airport, so I feel like it’s only now that I’ve won that I feel real and happy. In the previous two competitions, I came home with disappointing results, but this time, I’m so happy that I won the gold medal with a good ending,” she said.
Kim’s best moment of the tournament was undoubtedly her last-minute defense in the final against Chinese Taipei. With runners on first and second in the bottom of the ninth inning with South Korea leading 2-0, Kim caught Wu Yenting’s grounder, tagged the runner at second base, threw to first base for the second out, and turned a double play to end the game. The clutch double play clinched the win and became a favorite among fans as it was reminiscent of the final moments of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“It’s an honor to be reminded of that time,” said a smiling Kim. “I was a left-handed hitter with runners on first and second, so more than 80 percent of the time I was thinking, ‘What if the ball comes to me? I was thinking about what to do if a pitch came to me, and then a ground ball came to me. I knew I had to catch it and throw it. The moment I threw it, it was a little bit off and I was like, ‘Eh,’ but luckily it didn’t go too far and it went to the first baseman,” he recalled of his defense. “I also watched a video of the last defense of the tournament, which was a composite of Heo’s commentary from the Beijing Olympics. Even if it’s not a defense that will go down in history, I think it will stay in my memory because I finished it,” she laughed.
Kim is looking forward to playing in upcoming international tournaments such as the Asian Professional Baseball Championship Series, Premier12, and the WBC. “We had a lot of younger players in this tournament, and they did well. In a way, it was the first time I played with younger friends, and I believe that I will be able to perform well in the future because I had a good start,” she said, promising good results in upcoming international tournaments.