Oh Jin Hyek delays retirement plans after Tokyo 2020 postponement

26 March 2020
Jincheon, Korea
The London 2012 Olympic Champion made his international debut at the World Archery Championships in 1999.

Oh Jin Hyek will forever be the first Korean man to win the Olympic gold.

Four years after collecting the title in London, he missed out on the chance to defend it at Rio 2016. But just recently, the 38-year-old had an inside track to making the Korean team for Tokyo. It was going to be the last major event of his career.

“I was thinking about my retirement at the end of this competition but now the time will be delayed,“ he told Naver Sports.

“I prepared my mind to accept that reality this morning and start again – and found I had the energy to do so.”

The International Olympic Committee and organisers of this summer’s Games announced on Tuesday that Tokyo 2020 would be postponed beyond 2020 but no later than summer 2021.

Oh Jin Hyek, who has now been battling a shoulder injury for the best part of a decade, still has his sights set on a grand finale to an international career spanning more than 20 years.

“I’m going to focus on how I prepared this time last year. It’s something that’s already happened – and I can do it again,” he said.

The Korean Archery Association was midway through the selection process for its team for Tokyo 2020 when the COVID-19 outbreak caused the cancellation of trials.

It is expected that the process will be reset.

This could mean that Rio 2016 Olympic Champion Chang Hye Jin, who was eliminated from contention early on, gets a second chance at appearing in Tokyo.

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