Hockey World Cup: Shin guards as South Korea rise again read full article at

So far as nicknames go, ‘Jangbas’ is as unconventional a fusion as they arrive. It isn’t the sort that’ll strike concern within the hearts of opponents. And positively not the endearing sort.

However for Jang Jong-hyun, it’s an final honour. In South Korea’s modest hockey circles, the drag-flicker has acquired a legendary standing and earned direct comparisons with Pakistani nice Sohail Abbas, giving rise to the title ‘Jangbas’. To make certain, Jang’s physique of labor isn’t even a speck on Abbas. However for 20 years, the 38-year-old has been holding collectively South Korean hockey, maintaining it afloat whereas it teetered on the brink. All, together with his sling-shot-like drag-flicks.

On Monday, there was the primary glimpse of the revival of a fallen big; a staff that has been in an Olympic last, gained 4 Asian Video games gold medals and clinched probably the most variety of continental titles. And naturally, it was ‘Jangbas’ who was liable for it.

He scored twice together with his drag-flicks after which deceived the Argentine defence with a beautifully-worked variation to arrange his teammate because the ‘Red Bumblebees’ stung former Olympic champions Argentina in what will likely be remembered as a World Cup basic. South Korea got here again from two objectives down within the last quarter to make it 5-5 after which gained the penalty shootout 3-2 to enter the quarterfinals upon their return to the massive stage after eight years.

The wild celebrations that adopted carried on till the lights went off contained in the Kalinga Stadium. They’re the one Asian staff left within the match however coach Shin Seok-kyo wasn’t gloating. “It’s fantastic,” Shin beamed. “There was a lot of pressure on my team. It was very sad that India, Asia’s leader, lost. And then, Malaysia and Japan did also not make it. So, I am happy that an Asian team is in the quarterfinals.”

For Shin, this can be an ‘Asian win’ however there’s little doubt that the evening belonged to South Korea. He’s cautious to not go so far as calling this a resurgence however Shin certainly is beginning to dream. And an affirmation that South Korea is on observe to be counted among the many hockey elite as soon as once more.

Shin, who amassed greater than 200 worldwide caps between 1989 and 2002, was on the centre of a golden interval for South Korean hockey after they had been the undisputed greatest in Asia – having gained the Asian Video games (1994 and 2002) and Asia Cup (1994 and 1999) twice every – and a drive to reckon with globally, reaching the ultimate of the Sydney Olympics the place they misplaced to the Netherlands.

Nicknamed ‘Commando’ due to his physique, Shin was one of many most interesting drag-flickers of his period and a yr after he retired in 2002, Jang took over the mantle of being South Korea’s set-piece specialist. And though they by no means may replicate the highs of the Nineties, South Korea remained a continental big till the wheels slowly began to come back off with the staff failing to qualify for the final two Olympics and the 2018 World Cup.

Jang (L) celebrates his objective with teammate. (Credit score: Hockey India)

Restricted assets

It wasn’t a thriller as to why Korea fell from grace so spectacularly. “Korea is not interested in hockey,” Shin mentioned. “It is not a famous sport.”

And so, the game suffered. Not like India who’ve limitless assets, Malaysia who boast of Asia’s strongest home construction and Japan who’re nonetheless reaping the advantages of fund injection after internet hosting the Olympics, South Korea – as soon as the gold customary of Asian hockey – fell behind on all markers. They didn’t have the expertise pool, home construction, or cash.

“We have four clubs and five university teams, which put together provide between 150-200 players for national team selection,” Shin says. It’s been like that since his enjoying days.

To place that in perspective, whereas Shin has a participant pool of 200 to select from, his staff’s opponent in Wednesday’s quarterfinal, the Netherlands, has near 250,000 registered gamers. The challenges don’t finish there. Three golf equipment – Seongnam Metropolis Corridor, Incheon Metropolis Sports activities Affiliation and Gimhae Metropolis Corridor – largely fund the nationwide programme and nurture the little expertise that is still after most of it falls by the cracks at a number of ranges.

“They start at middle school and then proceed to high school. At both levels, there are 15 teams each. After that, you progress to University, which has five teams,” Shin says. “After University, some players go to serve the Army for two years, and after they finish the Army service, some go to the clubs and some players retire. It is very difficult to keep the players together.”

Getting again on observe

Shin, who moreover being South Korea’s coach since 2018 is concerned with the nation’s largest membership Seongnam, says he’s centered on sharpening the fundamental abilities of his gamers. “Ball control, open receiving, how to get that kick while attacking, how to defend…” Missing any depth to stay to at least one enjoying model or philosophy, Shin’s staff is understood for its tactical flexibility, altering its model as per its opponent.

A cussed staff to interrupt down, South Korea can defend deep towards sides which can be superior to them and aggressive, can play on the counterattack and are harmful from penalty corners, with Jang – who has scored 109 objectives in 313 worldwide appearances throughout his 20-year stint with the nationwide staff – as the principle drag-flicker.

It has labored as South Korea have been making all the best noises within the final 12 months. The staff has reclaimed its misplaced continental glory by successful the Asian Champions Trophy in 2021 after which changing into the Asia Cup winners after a spot of 9 years.

Half of the gamers of their World Cup squad are within the early-to-mid 20s, giving Shin the hope that their greatest is but to come back and likewise sounding out a warning for a wavering India close to this yr’s Asian Video games, on which the South Korean coach has firmly set his sights.

Earlier than that, on Wednesday, Shin’s facet can gatecrash the occasion and win again its seat amongst the elite. “Who is in the quarterfinal?” the coach teasingly asks. “Who is it, Holland? Ooh, such a strong team!”

Daunting it could be, however with ‘Jangbas’ – the World Cup’s second-highest scorer from penalty corners – main them from the again, South Korea will consider it’s not inconceivable.

#indianews #indiannews

About Mihir Vasavda

Check Also

Congress slowed India’s progress, country lost 6 decades: PM Modi’s broadside at grand old party amid opposition sloganeering in Rajya Sabha | India News read full article at

NEW DELHI: PM Modi on Thursday launched a recent offensive towards the Congress, this time …

Kim Jong Un Shows off daughter, nuclear missiles at North Korean parade read full article at

North Korean chief Kim Jong Un and his younger …

PM Modi to Launch Two More Trains from Mumbai, Maharashtra’s Count Touches 4 read full article at

Edited By: Oindrila Mukherjee Final Up to date: February 09, 2023, 19:35 IST One Vande …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *