“Olympic Games, a sign from God to run harder First, two consecutive Asian Games and two titles”
Modern Pentathlon Asian Games Representative Jeon Woong-tae
“Tokyo 銅, my driving force and stimulant
Every day, 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Meng Hoon
Gold medalist in individual and team competitions”
“It’s like a sign from God saying, ‘I’m not done yet.'” That’s what Jeon Woong-tae, 28, said about the meaning of his bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after finishing third and winning South Korea’s first Olympic medal in modern pentathlon history. “A gold medal would have been great,” says Jeon, who is known as the ‘modern pentathlon idol’ for his good looks, “but I think the feeling of emptiness that comes with accomplishing a goal is no less. For me, the bronze medal is a driving force and stimulus for my next goal.”
Ahead of the Hangzhou Asian Games, which kick off in September, Jeon has been training from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily at the National Military Sports Center in Mungyeong, North Gyeongsang Province. “After the Tokyo Olympics, a lot of people got to know and support modern pentathlon, and there are a lot of young athletes who are looking forward to growing up,” said Jeon. I’m very happy that my dreams have become a reality,” said Jeon. “If the Tokyo Olympics introduced people to modern pentathlon, I want to show that Korea is a modern pentathlon powerhouse through the Asian Games.”
South Korea has won the most gold medals (8) and overall medals (23) in modern pentathlon at the Asian Games. One of those eight golds was won by Jeon Woong-tae in the men’s individual event at Jakarta-Palembang 2018. If Jeon also finishes first in Hangzhou, he will become the first male athlete to win back-to-back Asian Games gold medals in the modern pentathlon. In Hangzhou, the team event will be back for the first time in nine years since Incheon 2014, so he could go for a double. The team event is ranked by combining the top three scores from each country’s individual events.
Jeon Woong-tae, who will compete alongside Jung Jin-hwa (34), Lee Ji-hoon (28) and Seo Chang-wan (26), said: “I’m looking forward to seeing how it will feel to stand on the podium at the Asian Games with my teammates who are like brothers. We all have enough skills to win gold, so we will do our best to bring home individual and team gold for Korea.”
Currently ranked sixth in the world, Jeon won gold in the individual competition at the third edition of the UIPM World Cup in April this year, setting a new world record for the event with a final total of 1534 points. He also won gold in the mixed relay at the World Cup Finals in June. “I’ve been focusing on analyzing the styles of my competitors and training for technical events (equestrian and fencing),” said Jeon, whose laser run (shooting + athletics) skills are among the world’s best in modern pentathlon.
The biggest hurdle is China’s insularity. At the 2010 Guangzhou Games, China won three of the four modern pentathlon gold medals. China hasn’t even opened the competition course for the Hangzhou Games to athletes from other countries yet. “Modern pentathlon is a sport with a lot of variables, so I’m training by entering the number of cases in my head so that I won’t be shaken by any situation,” said Jeon.
The Hangzhou Games will be the last time equestrian events will be held in the modern pentathlon at the Asian Games. The UIPM decided to replace equestrian events with show jumping after the Paris 2024 Olympics, as it was criticized as unfair to randomly assign horses to athletes. “I personally feel that overcoming such variables is the true meaning of modern pentathlon,” said Jeon, adding, “I want to go down in the history of modern pentathlon as the last athlete to win a gold medal at an Asian Games that includes equestrian events.” 스포츠토토 Jeon will compete at the World Championships in England later this month before heading to Hangzhou.