“I was boiling.”
Na Kyun-ahn (25, Lotte Giants), a pitcher for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team, is feeling the weight of the Korean flag for the first time since his professional debut. “When I put on the jersey with the flag on it, I could really feel it (being a member of the national team),” he said ahead of the team’s final domestic training session at Gocheok Sky Dome on Sunday. “Now that the Games are just around the corner, and we played a practice game yesterday (26), I feel that my mind is much different than before.”
After a practice match with the Armed Forces Athletic Corps (Commerce) at the Gocheok Dome on Saturday, Na Gyun-an’s mindset was further strengthened. Na Gyun-ahn’s determination was reinforced when he watched Yoon Ji-su (30-Seoul City Hall) win gold in the women’s fencing sabre final at Hangzhou Electronics University Gymnasium that day, beating China’s Xiao Yaqi. “I cried when I saw her win the gold medal in style,” said Na Gyun-an. “When I saw her roar, something in my heart boiled over. I thought, ‘I want to go to Hangzhou and roar like that,'” he said. 안전토토사이트
Yoon Ji-soo is the daughter of KBO talent donor Yoon Hak-gil, 62, who was dubbed the “Lone Crown Prince” for his role as Lotte’s ace. Yoon is a KBO and Lotte legend who compiled a career record of 117 wins, 94 losses, 10 saves, and a 3.33 earned run average (ERA) over 12 seasons starting in 1986. Yoon’s iconic “100 career complete games” is a record that remains unbroken to this day.
Na Gyun-an, who was reignited by Yoon Ji-soo, is following in his father’s footsteps as a junior at Lotte. In the first month of the season, the fourth-year pitcher earned his first career monthly MVP honor after starting five games, going 4-0 with a 1.34 ERA, and established himself as Lotte’s undisputed starter with 12 quality starts (QS – six or more innings pitched and three or fewer earned runs allowed), more than half of the team’s 22 games this season. He has become a role model for many juniors and is now ready to become the “go-to guy” for the national team.
The goal is gold. The support of his family and teammates is a great source of strength for him. “My family was really happy (about my selection). “But I didn’t talk about it (the competition) much because I didn’t want to put any pressure on myself, but I could definitely feel that they were supporting me from the bottom of their hearts.” “When I was called up to the national team, my teammates said, ‘Go for the gold,’ and ‘Take a picture of yourself in the national team uniform and send it to me first’ (laughs). The seniors also joked, ‘If you win (gold), you don’t have to buy gifts,’ so I was really grateful for their support,” she laughed.