“Are you sure you’re okay?” The first-ever Olympic medalist didn’t see it coming… but Jeon walked away smiling.

September 22, 2023 | by

“Do you mind?”

I approached “modern pentathlon star” Jeon Woong-tae (Gwangju Metropolitan Government) after the race and cautiously asked if I could interview him. He politely extended his palm and asked back. “Is that okay?” He didn’t seem to be happy with the start.

The Korean men’s modern pentathlon team competed in the fencing event at the 19th Hangzhou Asian Games 2022 at the Fuyang Throat Sports Center in Hangzhou, China on Tuesday afternoon. Lee Ji-hoon (LH), the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang silver medalist, led the way with 264 points, just ahead of second-placed Kazakhstan’s Pavel Ilyasenko (250). Seo Chang-wan (Jeonnam-do) rounded out the top 10 in ninth place.

Jeon Woong-tae, the modern pentathlon bronze medalist at Tokyo 2020, rounded out the top 10 with 229 points. Jung Jin-hwa (LH), who finished fourth at the event, did not have a performance to his liking and finished the fencing day in 14th place. Coincidentally, both fencers who had great success at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics faltered at the Asian Games.

Jeon Woong-tae got off to a rocky start. He was unable to accumulate any points before he started to improve after the midway point and finished in 11th place. After the Chinese athlete lost 10 points due to a penalty, he moved up one spot.

Jeon Woong-tae is a 2018 Jakarta-Palembang gold medalist 굿모닝토토. He followed up his Asian Games gold medal with the first-ever Olympic bronze medal for modern pentathlon. After winning the Olympic medal, he said, “It’s not my bronze medal, it’s the bronze medal of Korean modern pentathlon. This is just the beginning for Korean modern pentathlon,” he said. It’s a touching tribute to his teammates and the respect they have for him.

As much as he loves the sport, he was disappointed with his fencing result on Tuesday. Jeon Woong-tae spoke to Jung Jin-hwa in the middle of the match. He looked frustrated that the match was not going his way. Even though he had improved his ranking from the bottom to the top 10, he was still not satisfied.

When we caught up with him after the match, he politely declined an interview offer and smiled, saying, “I’ll talk to you after I finish the rest of the schedule.” “I should have won more,” he said of his 10th-place finish.

In fact, Jeon didn’t even start out with a medal in fencing at the Tokyo Olympics. After finishing ninth with 226 points, he was unable to add to his score in the bonus round. Instead, he was able to earn a bronze medal in third place overall thanks to his consistent top finishes in swimming, equestrian, and laser run.

Meanwhile, Lee Ji-hoon, who finished first in fencing, was also confident of winning a medal, saying, “I feel like I’ve put in the first step towards my goal, and I think I can expect good results if I focus more. My strength is in fencing, so I tried harder,” he said.


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