Stars of Asiad

(Asiad) S. Korean equestrian hopes to dedicate second gold to late uncle

2014/09/19 20:15

INCHEON, Sept. 19 (Yonhap) -- Kim Hyun-sub, a South Korean equestrian, said Friday he is determined to win a gold again at the Incheon Asian Games in his hope to dedicate it to his late uncle who died while competing in an equestrian event in the 2006 Doha Asiad.

The younger Kim said he hopes he can honor his late uncle again with another gold as the equestrian competition gets underway Saturday.

The uncle, Kim Hyung-chil, died during an eventing equestrian competition at the Doha Asiad as his horse was caught in a fence obstacle, sending the rider crashing onto the ground. The horse then landed on the rider, killing him on the spot with fatal skull fractures.

This was the first casualty at an equestrian eventing cross-country competition in Asiad history.

Kim Kyun-sub followed in the footsteps of his late uncle and made the national equestrian team for the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. He won the team gold medal in dressage.

The uncle passed away without having won an Asiad gold, with a bronze from 1986 and a silver from 2002 to his credit. The younger Kim dedicated that gold medal he won in Guangzhou to his late uncle.

Four years have passed, and Kim Kyun-sub, 33, said he still feels his uncle is watching him from above.

"Every time I ride, I think about him," Kim said. "Everything I do on a horse, I learned from him. I can't stop thinking about him."

   In the team dressage event, the average score of the top three riders on a four-man team determines the color of the medal. In Guangzhou, Kim actually ranked last on the South Korean team, and still ended up getting the gold with the help of his teammates.

He'd been riding his horse, 'Dark Secret,' for only a year before the 2010 Asiad.

"I wasn't really in sync with my horse then," Kim recalled. "I was disappointed that I was last on the team."

   Kim said he has developed a stronger rapport with his horse.

"There is no such thing as perfection in equestrian, but I've become much better with Dark Secret," he said. "I am not going to be the last on my team. This year, I will dedicate a gold medal to my uncle with my own strength."

   In addition to the team title, Kim said he also hopes to win an individual gold medal. His two teammates, Kim Dong-sun and Hwang Young-shik, are considered stronger medal contenders than Kim Kyun-sub, but the underdog said he can be a surprise winner.

"I must admit Young-shik is the best of the bunch," Kim said. "But there is very little discrepancy in talent. Whoever avoids making mistakes will win the gold medal."