“I want to represent the country by the age of 45”

It was a series of bad luck. 2013 National Sports Festival. Lee Woo-seok (26, Kolon), a freshman in high school, won five gold medals. Nicknames such as ‘new palace’ and ‘super high school level archer’ followed. His first Asian Games (Jakarta Palembang) in 2018 while serving in the military. If he won the gold medal, he could have been discharged early. Reached the finals of the individual event. The opponent is Kim Woo-jin (31), a senior of the national team. Kim Woo-jin was well aware of Lee Woo-seok’s circumstances. However, he made no concessions in the world of competition. Lee Woo-seok only won the silver medal. The early campaign was canceled. Kim Woo-jin said, “You have to take care of your own business.” ‘It was the most fair sword fight’ followed one after another.

Tokyo Olympics scheduled to be held in 2020. 3 entry tickets. Lee Woo-seok, who finished the selection round in 5th place, was confident that he could make it to the final top 3 in the remaining evaluation matches. In order to compete in the international all-around competition as a national representative, he has to play two more ‘evaluation matches’ in the nature of the final round after finishing in the top 8 in the first to third selection matches. However, as the tournament was postponed for a year due to the corona crisis, the Korea Archery Association announced that it would hold the contest again. everything is back to square one Unable to make up his mind in the midst of chaos, he finished the evaluation match held in 2021 in 7th place. The trip to Tokyo was canceled. “I was in really good shape in 2020, but it was very disappointing. I couldn’t even watch the broadcast of the tournament,” he said. His family, including his mother, had to watch his son with a broken heart.

Next up is the Hangzhou Asian Games. In the 2022 national selection and evaluation matches, Lee Woo-seok finished in 4th place and won a ticket to Hangzhou (1st to 4th place). However, the tournament was postponed again. I had to replay the evaluation match. “It was rather blunt,” he said. I thought, ‘This isn’t even the first time, I just need to do it one more time,'” he said. And in the final evaluation match of 2023, which ended last month at the Wonju Archery Field, it raised its ranking further and finished in second place. Finally, the Taegeuk mark was worn again.

◇ ‘Archery idiot’ Lee Woo-seok, who protested with a nosebleed,

took the bow for the first time when he fell for the flattering rumor that ‘the archery club buys chicken and pizza’ when he was in the 3rd grade of elementary school. He was afraid of the warning that ‘(if wrongly) he could kill people’, but he shrugged his shoulders because he thought it was cool to shoot a bow. He completed regular training by 6:00 pm and remained alone until 10:00 pm, drawing protests. He repeated this routine until he was in high school. His friends called him “the archery fool,” and he earned the nickname “frog finger,” a callus on his ring finger. Lee Woo-seok said, “I tend to bleed my nose right away when I’m tired.” He still gets a nosebleed during his national team selection match without fail. He did more when he was in high school. He had blood stains on his nose and hands every day before major competitions. “It was very difficult at the time, but investing more time than others became nourishment,” he said. His only hobby is gaming, which he briefly enjoyed after returning home. He mainly played first-person shooter (FPS) games with a gun or bow. “I want to be like this in the virtual world, but I still shoot well in games. haha.”

◇I can’t forget the thrill of 10 points

For him, archery was the secret to relieving stress from the competitive world. She had nothing else to do because her life was a solitary life. When she was in individual training, she saw an arrow stuck in a 10 and thought, ‘I’m so angry if it’s not 10 points, but the thrill that comes when I hit it offsets that.’ Even when she was given a two-week vacation during the off-season, she only took half a break, and devoted the rest to training.안전놀이터

He is now in his 18th year as an archer. He spoke calmly but forcefully of the realization he felt while playing archery. “The medals in the competition right in front of me are also important. I was obsessed with immediate goals such as winning a gold medal in the Asian Games and being selected as a national representative. But he went through a rough time and knew that ‘you have to look at the forest rather than the trees’.” When I asked Lee Woo-seok about how to manage his mentality, he answered, “I imagine an arrow hitting 10 points every day before going to bed.” All I can think about is the bow.

He is now challenging for a medal in an international comprehensive competition for the first time in five years at the Hangzhou Asian Games, which kicks off in September. He must be desperate for his first Asian Games gold medal more than anyone else, as he only won a silver medal in his last tournament. However, his ultimate goal is toward a farther place. To surpass his senior Oh Jin-hyeok (42), who was his boyhood idol. Oh Jin-hyeok, the oldest archery representative of all time, is the target of the challenge. “A dream? I will surpass Oh Jin-hyuk and become the oldest national representative. He wants to play for the national team even when he is 45 years old. He is the longest-serving archer. Isn’t it wonderful?” That ambition is just beginning.

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