“I want to start and end my national team career well at the Asian Games.”
Kim Dan-bi (33, Asan Woori Bank) is the backbone of South Korea’s women’s basketball team, a self-proclaimed ace who has worn the Korean flag for more than a decade. She has played every role from the 1 (guard) to the 5 (center) and has been a stalwart on the court. He’s played in the Olympics, Basketball World Cup, World Championships, Asian Games, and every other big tournament you can think of.
After a decade of ups and downs on the court, Kim is ready for another Asian Games. She’ll be competing in the Hangzhou Asian Games, which kick off on July 23. It will be her third time. Kim won silver in Guangzhou in 2010 and gold in Incheon in 2014. She was forced to withdraw from the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games due to ankle surgery. This time around, she’s going as a ‘captain’.
In a recent interview with Sports Chosun, Kim Dan-bi said, “I made my debut with the A team at the 2010 World Championships. I was the youngest player at the Guangzhou Asian Games. This time, I’m going as the captain. Actually, it’s the same thing with the title of captain. I’m going as a player, not as a captain. Being captain doesn’t give me an extra goal or an extra chance. The mindset is the same as a player,” he said.
South Korea will face Thailand (27), North Korea (29), and Taiwan (Oct. 1) in Group C at the tournament. While North Korea is a mystery, the grouping itself is not bad. Some observers believe that teams that performed well at the Asian Cup, such as China and Japan, may take it easy in this tournament. This is because they want to focus on bigger tournaments. However, the outcome cannot be ruled out. Kim Dan-bi knows the difficulties of the road to a medal better than anyone. “It was at the Guangzhou Asian Games. I could have won a gold medal…. I still can’t forget the scene at the end.” South Korea faced China in the final of the Guangzhou Games. The refereeing at the time was heavily skewed in favor of the ‘home’ team, China. South Korea lost to China and settled for a silver medal. Coincidentally, this year’s tournament will also be held on China’s home turf.
It’s not going to be easy, and Kim Dan-bi is more determined than ever. This could be the last time she’ll be crowned with the Taeguk mark. The Korean women’s team finished fifth at the Asia Cup in June. They did not qualify for the final Olympic qualifying spot, which is awarded to the fourth-place finisher. Their dreams of competing in Paris 2024 were dashed. After this tournament, the Korean women’s basketball team will not compete on the international stage for a while.
“I played for the A team for 14 years,” said Kim Dan-bi. My debut with the A team was at the World Championships, but I went straight to Guangzhou after that. I want to start and end my adult national team career with the Asian Games 메이저놀이터.”