National women’s sabre fencer Yoon Ji-ji (30-Seoul City Hall), whose father is a professional baseball legend, stood tall as an individual gold medalist at the Asian Games.

Yoon won the women’s individual sabre final at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games with a 15-10 victory over Xiao Yaqi (CHN) on Saturday at the Hangzhou University of Electronic Arts Gymnasium in Hangzhou, China.

Yoon Ji-soo won her first individual medal at the Asian Games in gold.

Yoon Ji-soo is better known as the daughter of Yoon Hak-gil, a KBO talent donor who went 117-94 with a 3.33 ERA in 12 seasons as a player. Her father, Yoon, led Lotte to its glory days, including setting the all-time record of 100 complete games.

Over the objections of her father, who knew all too well the difficulties of being an athlete, Yoon pursued the sport of fencing and earned the taekwondo mark, helping South Korea win team titles at the 2014 Incheon and 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games.

At the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, she also helped the Korean women’s sabre team to its first-ever team medal (bronze).

With her athletic DNA, she is particularly adept at driving in close games and has been seen leading teams to ‘come from behind’ victories at international competitions, making her the new face and eldest sister of a women’s sabre team that has recently undergone a generational shift.

After Kim Ji-yeon, 34, won an individual gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, women’s sabre became South Korean fencing’s flagship event at the international level, but the sport went through a period of transition in April this year when Kim hung up her taegeuk marker.

Yoon is the only member of the bronze medal-winning women’s sabre team from Tokyo 2021 to compete in this event.

Her teammates Jeon Eun-hye (26, Incheon Jung-gu Office), Choi Se-bin (23, Jeonnam-do) and Hong Ha-eun (24, Seoul Special City Hall) are all younger.

Yoon, who was the youngest member of the national team when South Korea won the women’s team title at the last two Asian Games and the team medal at the Olympics, was quickly thrust into a leadership role.

Without her older sisters to lean on, including Kim Ji-yeon, who is as close to her as a mother is to a child, Yoon is now the highest-ranked Korean women’s sabre player in the world (No. 16) and the only individual quarterfinalist at the Games, so the pressure is on to reach the medal round.

After reaching the quarterfinals of the individual event in Jakarta, Yoon overcame several setbacks, including a semifinal encounter with Zainab Dybekova (Uzbekistan), an opponent she lost to in the individual event at both the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and the Asian Championships in June, to win the Asian Games individual title.

She had been plagued by nagging knee injuries leading up to the Asian Games in Jakarta and the Olympic Games in Tokyo, and even before this event, she injured her knee while competing in a domestic tournament, but after enduring anesthetic injections and taping, she opened her era in Korean women’s sabre. 파워볼분석

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