Hanwha Group, which has supported Korean shooting since 2002 as president of the Korean Shooting Federation, is leaving the sport.
Kim Eun-soo, president of the Korean Shooting Federation, submitted a letter of resignation on Monday, saying he would step down as president of the federation.
Kim is the former head of Hanwha Galleria.
A Hanwha Group official told Yonhap News Agency on Tuesday, “I have been sponsoring the federation as president since 2002. I originally planned to quit (as chairman) after the (2021) Tokyo Olympics, but I thought I should fulfill my responsibilities until the Hangzhou Asian Games. The Asian Games were postponed by a year, so here we are (after the Asian Games),” he explained.
As for why he is stepping down, he said, “I think we have fulfilled our purpose of developing shooting through long-term sponsorship. I hope to open up opportunities for new companies and individuals to take the sport to the next level.”
The Hanwha Group has been a pillar of support for Korean shooting over the past two decades.
It founded the Hanwha Galleria Shooting Team in 2001 and since 2008 has organized the Hanwha Chairman’s Cup National Shooting Championship, one of the four major competitions in Korea.
Since 2002, Hanwha Group has contributed more than 20 billion won to the shooting development fund.
Thanks to this generous support, Korean shooting has reached its peak.
At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, the first Games held under Hanwha’s chairmanship, Jin Jong-oh won his first medal, a silver, and began the legend of the “Shooting Emperor.
Jin went on to win four gold and two silver medals at the Olympics, including a double at London 2012 and a gold at Rio de Janeiro 2016.
At London, Kim Jang-mi won gold in women’s pistol, and at Tokyo 2020, Kim Min-jung won silver in women’s pistol.
South Korean shooting has won seven gold, nine silver and one bronze Olympic medals, but only five gold, seven silver and one bronze medal since Hanwha Group became its chairman.
At the Hangzhou Asian Games, Korean shooting won two golds, four silvers, and eight bronze medals despite being labeled as “not as good as it used to be.
The Korean Shooting Federation now needs to find a successor to Hanwha Group.
“For the time being, we will go with an acting chairman and look for a chairman,” said a federation official.
There have been talks of Hanwha Group’s departure from shooting since it disbanded the Galleria shooting team in 2017.
An official from the federation said, “We have been carefully reviewing (the search for a successor chairman) internally, but we could not actively search publicly because it would be disrespectful to Hanwha, which has supported us for more than 20 years. We will actively search from now on,” he added. 슬롯게이밍