South Korea’s women’s softball team for the Asian Games has been confirmed.
The Korea Baseball Softball Association (KBSA) announced in a press release on Sept. 28 that it has selected 17 players to compete in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2. The roster is led by young players who have played at the Canada Cup, Asia Cup, and women’s collegiate softball tournaments, with enough veterans to back them up. All of these additions were expected.
The most notable is the addition of Hong Si-yeon (23, Daegu City Corporation), a No. 4 hitter who was a standout at the College Asia Cup. She is a two-way talent who can hit and pitch, but was initially named to the national team as a pitcher. Last year’s Baseball Softball Night winners, including Gyeongnam Sports Association pitcher Kim Won-hee, Incheon Metropolitan Sports Association’s Lee Kyung-min, and Dankook University hitting machine Park Min-kyung, also made the team.
메이저놀이터In addition, Bae Yoo-ga (34), a Korean-American who is still playing, was selected to the national team for the third consecutive time, and Lee Min-jung (Daegu Urban Development Corporation) returned from injury. The two veterans are expected to be a big boost to the young squad.
Earlier this year, the team traveled to Japan for a training camp, where they worked hard to win their first medal in softball at the Asian Games, including inviting former Japanese national softball coach Rei Nishiyama for specialized defensive training.
“It is a great honor to represent Korea at the Hangzhou Asian Games under the Korean flag,” said Noh Jong-woo. For four years, the coaches and athletes have been working hard to prepare for the Asian Games with one mind and one heart, and we will give it our all to make sure that our efforts are not in vain.”
The team will convene on September 3 and train until September 23 before departing for Hangzhou, China. Until their departure, Kim Eun-young, the association’s vice president, will support the players as the head of softball.
Currently, women’s softball is ranked 34th in the world and fifth in Asia behind Japan (2nd), Taiwan (4th), China (11th) and the Philippines (21st). The team will have to overcome home favorites China and the Philippines if they hope to win a bronze medal.
Since softball became an official sport at the 1990 Beijing Asian Games, the gold, silver, and bronze medals have been dominated by the top three Asian nations. From 1990-1998, China won three straight softball titles, and from 2002 to 2018, Japan won five straight. Outside of these three countries, no other Asian nation has won a medal. In eight Asian Games, Japan has won five gold and three silver medals, followed by China with three gold, two silver, and three bronze. Taiwan has won four silver and four bronze medals with no gold.
Softball team roster. Photo credit=KBSA