"There will be no extra pressure on us" - Korea Hockey player Jang Jong-hyun ahead of semi-final clash against Malaysia [Exclusive]

Korea Hockey player Jang Jong-hyun (in red) - PC: Hockey India
Korea Hockey player Jang Jong-hyun (in red) - PC: Hockey India

Korean hockey player Jang Jong-hyun is among the most experienced hockey players in the country. He has played 319 matches for his national team since his debut in 2004. He dons jersey no. 25 for his side and is the most capped player in the Korean National Hockey Team's squad.

Defending champions Korea finished 3rd in the Asian Champions Trophy 2023 at the end of the league stage. They finished with five points, courtesy of one win, two losses, and as many draws from five league stage matches.

Korea's only victory was against Japan during the season opener at the Asian Champions Trophy 2023. They won the match 2-1 and followed it with a couple of draws against Pakistan and China.

They were next up against hosts India, which they lost 3-2 in what was a highly-fought contest. Lastly, they lost 1-0 against Malaysia to end their group stage with a loss.

The defending champions will take on Malaysia in the 1st semi-final match on August 11 at 6:00 PM IST.

Sportskeeda caught up Jang Jong-hyun to discuss the pressure on defending champions Korea and a few words on the youngsters representing the nation.

Korea have added a few youngsters to their squad for the Asian Champions Trophy 2023. They could earn a call-up for the Asian Games too based on their performance in the ongoing tournament. When asked about the progress of the youngsters, Jang Jong-hyun said:

"The young players are really working hard and the coaches are also working on preparing them for the bigger stage."

Korea is the defending champions of the Asian Champions Trophy. They won the previous edition of the tournament and will have to pressure to defend their title. However, Jang Jong-hyun denied the fact that there would be any pressure on them.

"As defending champions of the tournament, we will give our best play to keep the crowd entertained", he said. "No, there will be no extra pressure on us due to the defending champions' tag. We're completely focused on the match."

Jang Jong-hyun also added that the Korean team is looking to give their best possible performance in the tournament and was thankful for the Indian hospitality they have been receiving in Chennai.

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Edited by Diptanil
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