It’s only been ten days, but the ‘unlucky silver medallist’ Choi In-ho (22, Nonsan City Hall) is laughing it off.
If you had to name the ‘most pitiful athlete’ among the competitors at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, which concluded last week, Choi In-ho would be at the top of the list.
Choi In-ho narrowly missed out on victory in the 3,000-metre roller skating relay on the second day of the Asian Games.
South Korea was in first place until just before the finish line.
But the last runner, Chung Chul-won (Andong City Hall), raised his arms in the air as he crossed the finish line.
At that moment, Taiwan’s Hwang Yi-lin, who had sprinted to the end, stuck out his left foot, and the gold medal went to the Chinese Taipei athletes.
Choi In-ho and Chung Chul-won not only lost the gold medal but also the chance to receive special benefits for military service.
The disappointment was compounded by the fact that roller skating track will be dropped from the Asian Games programme after this event.
However, when we met at the Naju Sports Park on Thursday, where the roller skating event of the 104th Jeonnam National Sports Championships will be held, Choi had already accepted the painful memories of Hangzhou as “memories”.
When asked how he feels looking back on the situation, Choi smiles and says, “I’m still disappointed that I finished second instead of first, but I don’t have any ill will towards Chung Chul-won.”
“We talked a lot during training, and we relied on each other a lot,” he said, emphasising that “it’s not a relationship that will disappear just because of that (Chung’s mistake).”
Choi In-ho said he was grateful for the support.
“I think I could have finished second because of my brothers,” he said, “I rode hard until the end, and even if I didn’t do well, I thought I would accept the result.
He laughed out loud, saying, “Chul-won is my older brother and I am Mi-pil, so I don’t think he would have done it on purpose.”
Choi In-ho said he will continue to challenge for Asian Games gold.
At the 2026 Games in Aichi and Nagoya, there is a possibility that road and marathon events will be added to the programme in place of roller skating track events.
Choi has experience in these events.
“If there is another ‘big game’, I want to participate and win, and if I get the chance, I will try to make a gold medal with my own hands,” Choi said. “If I don’t get the chance, that is also my fate.” 파워볼게임