UPDATE : 2020.7.14 Tue 23:06
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Kim Tae-En is rising star on the national canoe team
Kim Tae-En, a canoeist from the Dept. of Physical Education, is one of Korea’s best prospects for winning the gold medal in the 16th Guangzhou Asian Games. He has received many outstanding awards and has shown a remarkable talent in canoeing. His forte is the one-seater canoe Canadian style paddling 1000-meter event. The Canadian style of paddling a canoe uses only one paddle.

He was supposed to compete in the two-seater 1000-meter event, but due to his partner’s injury during practice, he had to join the one-seater 1000-meter event instead. When asked how he felt about competing alone, he said, “I don’t even think about this situation. But I won’t give up, and I’ll do my best.”

He bagged the 3rd place at the 2009 Asian Games held in Busan. Though he won the bronze medal only, the point gap between the 2nd and the 3rd place was not significantly different. Hence, people have high expectations of him winning the gold medal this time.

Lim Yong-Hoon, a Canoe Federation training director said that “His physical condition is well-adapted to two-seater, but championship is possible if he trains hard during the remaining time. He is a leadership material for the future of Korean canoeing.”

He started canoeing upon a suggestion of his physical education teacher when he was a 2nd grade middle school student in Ulsan. He later joined the Hakseong high school canoe team, the only team that practiced canoeing continuously at the time. However, he had a difficulty in becoming a member of the official canoeing team for the Olympics. This time, by competing with international canoeists, he is certain to get a participation ticket at the Olympics.
Regarding his taking part in the one-seater 1000-meter event, he says “The circumstances have not changed much. I realized the power of mind control while I was off-season training in Hungary. And I knew that when competing internationally, you must have the spirit of professionalism which means not making excuses.”

Despite the odds, he is determined to see the results of his hard work. There is still a ten-second difference between his record and the Olympics athletes’ record in medal contention, but he vows to reduce this gap by one second. Also, he aims to surprise people by setting excellent records in preparation for the Incheon Asian Games to open in 2014.

Kim Sung-min  media@changwon.ac.kr

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