Han Sung-bong (Dalseong County Government) shed tears of emotion after winning the gold medal in the men’s doubles tennis event at the Hangzhou 2022 Para-Asian Games paired with ‘ace’ Lim Ho-won (Sportsoto Korea).
The pair defeated Malaysia’s Binyusof Mohamad Yushazwan and Binborhan Abu Sama 2-0 (6-2 6-3) in two hours and 33 minutes in the men’s doubles final at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province on Saturday.
Lim Ho-won, who won silver in the men’s doubles at the 2018 Indonesia Games, won his second gold medal in as many tournaments, while Han Sung-bong won his first Para Asian Games medal in gold.
“I was very nervous during the whole match, it was very hard, and I felt like I was going to cry when it was over,” Han Sung-bong told reporters in the post-match mix zone, “and I’m very happy to win my first Asian Games medal, a gold.”
After saying that “(Han) Sung-bong is grateful to his brother,” Im Ho-won laughed embarrassedly, saying that he had “a few tears of joy.”
Han Sung-bong, who had wrapped his arms around the teary-eyed Im and hugged him tightly after winning the match point, got teary-eyed as he recalled the moment.
“I think Ho Won was under a lot of pressure from the quarterfinal match against China,” he said, and then wiped away a tear, revealing his overwhelming emotion, “We prepared together, and the hard moments and the fun moments flashed by.”
The Hangzhou Para-Asian Games, which were postponed for a year, became a calling card for the two athletes.
Lim, who is 15 years younger than Han Sung-bong, said, “We are very close, like brother and sister. Last year, both of us were not in the best shape, but we were thinking positively when the Games were postponed,” said Lim.
Han Sung-bong also said, “I had a rare disease called syringomyelia, which caused my physical strength to drop a lot. I thought about giving up the sport,” he said, adding, “I used it as a time to prepare my physical strength. I’m happy with the result.”
The duo dominated the first set with a 6-2 lead, but struggled with their opponent’s strong counterattack in the early stages of the second set and were tied at 3-3.
“In the first set, we played well by drawing our opponent in as we had prepared, but in the second set, I think we played passively as we tried to stop the flow of the opponent’s game plan,” said Lim Ho-won. “However, we talked well at the end, relaxed, and played our game to win.”
Han Sung-bong said, “Our ace, Ho Won, did most of the offense. We shared roles, with me backing up and making good balls, and Ho Won seeing the gaps and attacking when he shook the opponent.”
Before match points, the two players had to calm down.
“Since it was a match point, they might be a little more intimidated (by the pressure), but we told them to treat it like a regular point,” Han said.
Now that they’ve judged the Asian stage, the pair have their eyes on the world stage.
“It’s unfortunate that we haven’t won a medal at the Paralympics yet. It would be great if Sungbong could join his brother at the Paris Paralympics next year.” Han Sungbong also vowed to train hard to win a medal at the Paralympics. 파워볼분석