Park Ji-won (27, photo), the signboard of the Korean men’s short track speed skating team, stood tall at the top of the world.
Park Ji-won won the gold medal with a record of 1:25:359 in the second race of the men’s 1000m at the 6th event of the 2022-2023 International Skating Union (ISU) Short Track World Cup held in Dortrecht, the Netherlands on the 13th (Korean time). He then led the championship as the last runner in the men’s 5000m relay. Park Ji-won, who previously won the 1500m on the 12th, won three gold medals in this event.
Park Ji-won accumulated 1068 World Cup ranking points and took first place in the individual all-around World Cup in the 2022-2023 season. It was an overwhelming performance with a very large gap between Hong Gyeong-hwan (674 points) in second place and Stephen Dubois (668 points, Canada) in third place.
After getting off to a good start by winning three gold medals in the first World Cup this season, Park won one gold medal and three silver medals in the second competition, and added two gold medals and one silver medal in the third competition. He won three and two gold medals in the 4th and 5th competitions, respectively, and won 3 gold medals in the last 6th competition, decorating the finale splendidly.
It is all the more valuable because it was achieved after a long life of obscurity. Park Ji-won, who wore the Taegeuk mark for the first time in the 2015-2016 season, failed to stand out due to being overshadowed by star players such as Lin Xiaojun 바카라(Korean name Lim Hyo-jun) and Hwang Dae-heon. The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, as well as the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, were eliminated from the national team selection event, and he had to watch his teammates perform. After twists and turns, Park Ji-won, who wore the Taegeuk mark again this season, had the best season as the ace of the national team. The prospects for the men’s national team were bleak this season due to the injury of former ace Hwang Dae-heon, but Park Ji-won played the role of leader and brilliantly filled the void.