We’ve been busy with a few major projects as late, but have been prompted to break radio silence by some unexpected news from Korea. Their national qualification tournament was held over the weekend:
The new 2015/2016 squad was announced shortly after the event.
- Gu Bongil
- Ha Hansol
- Kim Junghwan
- Kim Junho
- Oh Sanguk
- Song Jonghun
- Sung Junmo
Two names are conspicuously absent from that list.
Oh Eunseok and Won Wooyoung have retired from the Korean national team and will not be competing internationally this season. While some fallout from the team’s disappointing run at Moscow was expected, I think most observers were anticipating that the Big 4 would stay together until after Rio.
I’m sure I won’t be the only one sad to see these guys go from the FIE circuit. Both Won and Oh are among the most creative, exciting and influential fencers of their generation. They’ve introduced radical changes to our understanding of what sabre can be, and in doing so have made it a lot more fun to watch.
In the spirit of getting all nostalgic and sentimental, I’m going to be watching these on loop over the next few days, possibly while drinking red wine and crying:
This is, of course, all part of the great circle of life. Where the old guard falls, a new generation of absurdly trollish K-pop warriors and genetically engineered superfencers arise.
On that optimistic note, I’ll conclude with this ridiculous maneuver from Oh Sanguk, because why not.
I’ll be watching his future career with interest.