|▲ Changwon University table tennis players who won medals at the National Championships (Source: Gyeongnam Sports Association)|
Changwon University's Table Tennis Team won the women's team title, gold medal, and silver medal in individual competitions, at the 67th National Table Tennis Championships, which were held at Gimcheon Indoor Gymnasium in Gyeongsangbuk-do from June 29th to July 5th, 2021. Changwon University's Table Tennis Team won three consecutive titles in 2017-2019 and four consecutive titles in 2021 after the COVID19 restrictions eased. The team won the gold medal with a set score of 3:0 in the final. The two players from Changwon University advanced together to win the gold and silver medals. Kang Ha-eun, captain of the Table Tennis Team at Changwon National University, was interviewed.
Q : Please introduce yourself.
K: Hello. I'm Kang Ha Eun, a senior in table tennis at Changwon University.
Q : How did your team prepare for the competition?
K: After class, we worked out at the gym any time we had free time. We tried to train for a minimum of 2 hours up to a maximum of 3 hours. The training method we used was to exercise basic skills before the competition and to practice a lot of tactical skills when the game was coming up. I prepared for the competition with the utmost concentration, so that the training time would not be prolonged.
Q: How was your condition the day before the competition and what kind of messages of encouragement did you exchange with your team members?
K: It's been a long time since we played because of Covid19, so I think everyone was a little more nervous than usual the day before. I tried to go to bed early to control my condition, and we had a meeting with our coach, where we decided not to give up and to continue to do our best.
Q: I heard this championship is your fourth consecutive win. How do you feel?
K: We didn't win easily from the first round in the previous competition, but this tournament was 3:0, and I felt more rewarded for practicing hard. Our professor is about to retire, so I'm happy that we gave him a gift for our last competition together.
Q: Is there any special training for the Changwon University Table Tennis Team?
K: Professor Lee Kang-heon and Oh Yoon-kyung are studying sports psychology, so they seem to be more helpful in terms of psychological training and match tactical situations than other teams. Our team puts quality above the quantity of training. Therefore, rather than increasing the amount of practice, everyone does their best in the given training time.
Q: Please tell me your future goals or plans.
K: I think our team's strength is unity. I think when everyone moves with the same mind, they show the strongest power. My goal is to win all the time, but my teacher coaches me to be the best player I can be, even if I can't be the best, so our team is always doing our best. I want to make this mindset a tradition of the Table Tennis Team of Changwon University, so that junior players can follow well.
Q: As captain, is there anything you would like to say to your team members, coaching professors, and officials?
K: I'm always grateful to Professor Lee Kang-heon and Oh Yoon-kyung. It's because he gave me a lot of emotional support and helped me like he would his son and daughter. We made a lot of memories that I can easily reflect on as a college student. Thank you so much for following me and I'm so glad that I came to Changwon University. I think I've been learning a lot over the last four years.
We heard the story of the table tennis team through an interview with Kang Ha-eun, a player from the Changwon University Table Tennis Team. Changwon University's Table Tennis Team won the National Table Tennis Championship as well as the 'Best Team Award', selected by the Korea Table Tennis Association in 2020. Changwon University's Table Tennis Team is expected to maintain its status as a college table tennis team based on its four consecutive wins.
By So Min-young, cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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