It was a valuable medal won after a hard struggle. NH Nonghyup Bank, a prestigious female soft tennis player in Korea, overcame bad news such as unfamiliar artificial turf courts, strong winds, and injuries to keep its last pride.
NH Nonghyup Bank Lee Min-seon (25) and Lee Jeong-woon (22) compete in the women’s doubles 3rd place match at the ‘2023 International Soft Tennis Championships’ held at Onoyama Stadium in Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan on the 12th. Pressed. He won the bronze medal with a game score of 5-2.
Lee Min-seon, the back, led the game with powerful backhand angle strokes and exquisite drop shots, and Lee Jeong-woon also pressed and shook the opponent from the front. Previously, Lee Min-seon and Lee Jeong-woon suffered defeats against Ami Kobayashi and Rena Yoshida (Tokyo Women’s University of Physical Education) in the semifinals, but the Korean team won the only medal in this tournament.
Initially, this tournament was extremely unfavorable to Korean players. Players have been training on hard courts for the Hangzhou Asian Games in September, but this tournament was held on artificial turf courts. It was very difficult to adapt because there were differences in the ball’s repulsive force, trajectory, and speed. The strong Okinawan sea breeze was also a variable.
Because of this, the Korean men’s business team gave up participating in the tournament. It was to focus on the national team selection event to be held from the 26th. Daejeon University players got a chance instead. Since NH Nonghyup Bank promised to participate at the organizer’s earnest request, it participated to keep its faith. Director Yoo Yeong-dong of NH Nonghyup Bank gave meaning, “There is a problem of adapting to the court, but it will be a good mock test because you can identify the pros and cons if you play a real match before the national selection match.”
But bad things happened. Moon Hye-gyeong (26), who has been the team ace and the main player of the national team, suffered an injury during the women’s singles quarterfinals on the 10th. She sprained her left ankle while making a stroke as she ran in the morning rain while the sand on her coat was still not completely dry. She was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Fortunately, Moon Hye-kyung did not suffer serious injuries such as ligament rupture.
However, with Ace missing, it was not easy to expect a prize. Moon Hye-kyung was also scheduled to participate in doubles with Lim Jin-ah (21), but she had to withdraw from all of them due to an injury. With a strong candidate missing, Namioka Nanami (Nippon Sport University), who reached the semifinals due to Moon Hye-gyeong’s injury, rose to the top of the singles.
However, Lee Min-seon and Lee Jeong-woon established the pride of Korean women’s soft tennis. If they lost the match for third place, the Korean team would have had to return home empty-handed. This tournament is the first time that the International Soft Tennis Federation grants ranking points like tennis, and more than 250 players from 9 countries participated, including a large number of former national teams such as Japan and Taiwan. In an important event where the winner also receives the right to participate in the World Championships to be held in Anseong, Gyeonggi-do next year, no medal could hurt the pride of Korea, which is competing for the world’s best in the event.
After the game, Lee Min-seon said, “It’s been a few years since I haven’t been able to compete in a Japanese tournament due to Corona 19, so it’s been a few years since I played on an artificial turf court. I should have adapted quickly, but it wasn’t easy.” He continued, “I thought I had to keep my pride by winning in the end, but I’m glad I did.” Lee Jung-woon also smiled, saying, “I should have done well in the front line, but I was able to win because my sister led me well.”
It was a struggle, but it was not without success. Lee Min-seon emphasized, “During the tournament, I was in a hurry at the match,” and “I made a lot of mistakes, but I will make up for these points and go to the national team selection match.” Jeong-Woon Lee” 온라인바카라
Director Yoo said, “In fact, it was a big burden to participate in the tournament ahead of the important schedule of the national team selection match.” “However, fortunately, Moon Hye-kyung’s injury was not severe, so the possibility of winning the selection increased,” he said.
In this tournament, Japanese players who are accustomed to artificial turf courts had no choice but to have an advantage. Both men’s and women’s singles and doubles were won by Japanese players. Taiwan’s men’s doubles, which is considered the best in the world, also finished runner-up. The Japanese group, which defeated Lee Min-sun and Lee Jeong-woon to reach the top of the women’s doubles, was sluggish at the ‘2022 NH Nonghyup Bank Incheon Korea Cup International Soft Tennis Competition’ last year, but gained the advantage of the home court.
NH Nonghyup Bank players who defended Korea’s pride in Japan, the origin of the sport. Ahead of the national selection match, the first gateway to the Asian Games, the biggest competition, I did my tricks properly and learned a valuable lesson. The Korean team will return to Korea on the 13th.