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Baek Seung-ho, who missed Jakarta, says his teammates' performance motivated him "I will win gold"
Baek Seung-ho, a member of the South Korea U-24 national soccer team competing in the Hangzhou Asian Games, gives an interview before training at Changwon Sports Complex in Changwon, Gyeongnam, 한국야동 on Sept. 5.
Baek Seung-ho (26, North Korea), who watched the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games on TV five years ago, has set his sights on winning gold at the Hangzhou Asian Games.
Baek Seung-ho, who was selected as a wild card for the Asian Games soccer team, said before a training session at Changwon Sports Complex on Friday morning, "I have a great responsibility for joining the team as a wild card. I will try to get to know the players quickly and make a good showing in the tournament."
"There's a lot of pressure to be a wild card and to win three consecutive tournaments. I also feel a sense of responsibility. It's not only me, but also (Park) Jin-seob and Young-woo," he said, adding, "We have a lot of experience now, but if we help each other and prepare well, we can show a good performance. Especially, coach (Hwang Sun-hong) told us to have as much fun as possible, so I'm trying to play with Jin Seob-yi and Young-woo to have fun."
Luckily, Baek Seung-ho has teammate Park Jin-seob to guide him, so there's less pressure on him to lead the juniors. He relies heavily on Park, too.
"(Jinsup) is preparing even more eagerly because he has to go into military service after the Asian Games," Baek said, adding that he trusts him and relies on him.
It's also meaningful for Baek Seung-ho to compete in the tournament.
He didn't make the squad for the Jakarta/Palembang Asian Games five years ago and had to watch from the sidelines as close friends Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton), Hwang In-beom (Zvezda) and Jeong Tae-wook (Jeonbuk) won gold.
After a long wait, Baek Seung-ho said, "I was very disappointed not to be able to compete at the Jakarta Games, so this is my motivation. My goal is to prepare well and win the gold medal," he said.
He continued, "The members who won gold five years ago told me, 'You should win gold unconditionally,' rather than giving me advice. The exemption from military service is also a big motivator, but more than that, we are competing for our country, 19가이드03 so we will show a good performance."
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