Chang tips worlds teammates for Korean squad at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Reigning Olympic Champion Chang Hye Jin has tipped her teammates at this year’s world championships, Kang Chae Young and Choi Misun, as favourites to make the Korean squad for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She also named An San and Lee Eun Gyeong as the archers she think could qualify.

(They also happen to be the four women ranked top after the second stage of the trials.)

Chang was eliminated from the selection process in late September.

“I‘m now back with my professional team. We have our Korean national sports festival starting on 3 October,” she said. “When all the competitions are over for this year, winter will be a really relaxing time for me. I’m actually really excited about that.”

The 32-year-old had been a consistent member of Korea’s international squad since 2012.

Alongside the summer tournament schedule, being a member of the Korean squad means months spent as a resident archer at the national training centre in Jincheon, even in the offseason. 

After being eliminated from selections, Chang left Jincheon. One of the eight women leading the trials will take her place at the centre this winter.

Chang, though, is not done.

“As long as I’m shooting, I’m going to keep trying to make the national team. I’ll miss everyone so much,” she said.

“I didn’t get the chance to prepare a proper message that I was leaving and just ended up being eliminated. I want an opportunity to have a better finish on the national team.”

One year after her gold medal at Rio 2016, Hye Jin finished second at the world championships and she was also world number one from June 2017 to early 2019.

She has accrued 28 medals on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit over eight years, but her career to date is defined by one life-changing result.

“The Olympic title means so much to me. Apart from money and honour, the title has allowed this person, Chang Hye Jin, to shine to the world,” she said.

“I’m happy and grateful that I could get to know archers from around the world. I’m going to work hard so that I can meet those friends again.”

The Korean recurve women’s team has won all eight available gold medals at the Olympic Games to date, starting back in 1988.

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