Kim Woo-min (swimming, Gangwon Provincial Government) and Lim Im-hyun (archery, Korea Gymnastics) were named the most outstanding Korean athletes of the 16-day Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games. The triple gold medalists were also honored as the first Korean athletes to be named the Asian Games Most Valuable Player (MVP).Kim Woo-min and Lim Tem-hyun were named the Korean men’s and women’s MVPs at a press conference at the end of the Games held at the Sports and Diplomacy Lounge of the Korean Olympic Committee at the Grand New Century Hotel in Hangzhou, China, on Monday, the Korean Olympic Committee announced.
This is the first time that the NOC has promoted the selection of Asian Games MVPs among Korean athletes. Kim Woo-min and Lim Tem-hyun were voted as the best male and female athletes after a vote by the journalists covering the Games. The Korean middle and long-distance athlete became the first Korean athlete to win three titles at the Games .Kim got off to a flying start when he teamed up with Hwang Sun-woo, Yang Jae-hoon (Gangwon Province) and Lee Ho-joon (Daegu Metropolitan City) to win the men’s 800-meter freestyle relay final in 7:01.73, the first Asian Games team gold medal in Korean swimming history.
After winning the 800-meter freestyle final on Monday in 7:46.03, Kim was the first to touch the touchpad in the 400-meter freestyle final on Monday (3:44.36), beating competitors from all over Asia. Kim became the third South Korean swimmer to win three gold medals at a single Asian Games, joining former Vice Minister of Culture Choi Yun-hee (New Delhi 1982) and Park Tae-hwan (Doha 2006-Guangzhou 2010).The youngest member of the archery team, 2003-born Lim Tem-hyun, became Korea’s second triple winner just before the Games closed.
After sharing gold medals with her teammates in the mixed team and women’s team events, she won her third gold medal in the women’s individual 안전놀이터 final on Sunday, defeating Ansan (Gwangju Women’s University) 6-0 in straight sets. She is the first South Korean to win three gold medals in archery at an Asian Games in 37 years since Yang Chang-hoon (four), Kim Jin-ho and Park Jung-ah (three) at the 1986 Seoul Games.It has also been nine years since a Korean athlete won an individual gold medal in the women’s archery event at the Asian Games in Incheon in 2014.
In addition, the KOC also handed out additional awards for dedication, achievement, and encouragement. Women’s badminton’s “absolute number one” Ahn Se-young (Samsung Life Insurance) was honored for her determination in the face of injury. After contributing to the women’s team title, Ahn also won gold in the individual event. Ahn became only the second Korean to win the women’s singles title at an Asian Games and the first in 29 years since Hwang Soo-hyun, who won gold in 1994 in Hiroshima .Ahn’s grueling run to the final over the past seven days saw her overcome a knee injury in the first set, 18-16, to win in three sets.
The achievement award went to Shin Yubin (Korean Air), who teamed up with Jeon Ji-hee (Mirae Asset Securities) to win the women’s table tennis doubles. Born in 2004, Shin gave up high school to focus on table tennis and joined an unemployment team .This is the first time a South Korean athlete has won a gold medal in table tennis at an Asian Games since Lee Chul-seung-Seung-min in men’s doubles and Seok Eun-mi-Eun-sil in women’s doubles at the 2002 Busan Games .The inspirational awards went to “sixth grader” skateboarder Moon Kang-ho (Gangwon Province Rollersports Federation) and Lee Eun-ji (Bangsango), who won bronze in the women’s 200-meter backstroke.
Moon, born in 2011, is the youngest male athlete in the Korean contingent. Lee was diagnosed with frostbite after undergoing cryotherapy treatment in late August, but overcame the condition to bring home a medal. The tournament, which kicked off on Sept. 23, will conclude its 16-day run with a closing ceremony at 9 p.m. KST on Sept. 8