Editor’s note: Kangnam University’s shooting team continued its winning streak by winning gold medals this year and in the previous year. Yoon Dan-bi (2nd year, Physical Education), a national team alternate was selected as an official member of the national team after winning 4 consecutive medals, becoming the pride and joy of Kangnam University. We sat down with Yoon Dan-bi to talk about her journey to national team status.
Shooting is not a very popular sport. What made you start?
Honestly, I didn’t know much about shooting at first. However, I found out from people around me that there was a shooting team at my middle school. I actually learned taekwondo when I was young. My parents discovered that I was pretty athletic, and that’s when I began to learn shooting with the support of my parents. Afterwards, I joined the shooting team and have continued the path of shooting to this day. I never imagined that I would make it to the national team because I had no idea about this sport when I first started.
Which competitions did you win this summer?
On May 12, I received 2 gold medals at the 9th Presidential Secret Service Shooting Competition in the individual 10m air rifle. Then, I won two medals at the Hanwha Chairman National Shooting Competition on June 5. On the 25th of the same month, I won 2 medals at the 43rd Bongwhanggi National Shooting Competition in air rifle, winning me a place on the national team. Finally, I won 2 medals in the 10m air rifle at the 42nd Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Shooting Competition on July 25.
How does it feel to be on the national team?
I’m so excited to be part of the national team because I’ve worked long and hard to be where I am today. I was actually under a lot of pressure since I scored a personal best in three competitions right before I got chosen to be on the national team. After making it to the national team, it made me realize that it’s just the beginning for me. It’s such an honor to be part of the national team because it has been a dream of mine ever since I started this sport. Now I’m just one step closer to competing in international competitions, and starting from this year I will definitely work hard to achieve this goal.
How did you overcome obstacles along the way?
Training is without a doubt the most difficult part. There is systematic training in the morning followed by another session in the afternoon before a competition. In addition to the actual competition, it’s actually more difficult than you think when planning out a game plan for the next competition because shooting is an individual sport and you have to constantly compete with your own scores. Also, there is the added pressure of exceeding your limits. At the same time, you don’t have to constantly move around in this sport which makes it less physically demanding compared with other sports.
What goals have you set for yourself?
I try to set short-term goals. Next on my agenda is to set a world record at the 6th Annual East Asia Championship in China this October. The East Asia Championship will be the first step towards international competitions for me. I want to take the pressure off myself and just continue to do what I have done so far. Since I’ve achieved my dream of becoming a member of the national team, I’m going to do my best to prepare for international competitions.
Translated by Julia Kim