Lin Xiaojun (27, Korean name Lim Hyo-jun), who had not been able to show off his skills after being naturalized in China, fired a flare of revival. It was a turning point for Lin Xiaojun, who had been in a shaky position for three years after being naturalized in China.
Xiaojun Lin won the men’s 500m and 5000m relay at the 5th competition of the 2022-23 International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup, which ended in Dresden, Germany on the 5th (local time) and won two gold medals.
This is the first gold medal won by Lin Xiaojun, who was naturalized as a Chinese citizen in 2020, on the international stage as a Chinese national. It has been almost three years since he became naturalized, but this is actually the first time he played a season as a Chinese citizen.
Lin Xiaojun, who came second overall in the Chinese national team selection match, prepared ambitiously for the 2022-23 season, but seldom showed his former skills.
He was plagued by injuries. Xiaojun Lin suffered a back injury after falling at the final corner during the 2000m mixed relay on the first day of the 1st World Cup held in October last year. All remaining matches were abandoned.
Lin Xiaojun, who did not participate in the second World Cup due to injury, sought revenge at the Four Continents Championships. But again, after finishing his first day’s 1000m qualifying event in first place, he clutched his left chest in pain. After this match, he gave up all other matches. In poor form due to a back injury, his physical condition appeared to have worsened.
Lin Xiaojun returned to the 3rd World Cup after a short break, but this time also failed to meet expectations. He harvested his first medal after naturalization with a silver medal in the 2000m mixed relay, but failed to reach the finals in both the 500m and 1500m individual events.
He gave up participating in the 4th World Cup due to high fever and flu.
One silver medal in relay at four World Cups and Four Continents Championships. It did not live up to the name value of Lin Xiaojun, who ran the world’s best men’s division for a while, including the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.
In the meantime, China pushed for another naturalized player. These are the Hungarian short track signboards Liu Shaolin, Sandor and Liu Xiaoang. They became world-class skaters before and after the 2022 Beijing Olympics, and decided to become naturalized after having a Chinese father.
Recruiting the Liu brothers is a great help to the Chinese national team, but it is a great burden for Lin Xiaojun personally. In particular, unlike the Olympics, which is suspended for three years, the grace period for naturalized athletes in international competitions hosted by ISU is only one year. Since the last competition in which the Liu brothers participated as Hungarian nationals was the World Championships in April 2022, they can play for the Chinese team from April this year.
There was not much time left for Lin Xiaojun, who had to establish himself in the Chinese national team before the arrival of the Liu brothers. In a situation where public opinion in China was not very good as there had been no significant activity until the 4th World Cup, it was a crisis that could lose its place if the Liu brothers with ‘Chinese blood’ were added.
Lin Xiaojun, who fell and was eliminated in the 1000m quarterfinals at the 5th competition, shed tears after winning the 500m gold medal. It was like revealing the burden of not being able to show off his skills due to frequent injuries this season. 메이저사이트
In the 5000m relay, he also took on the role of the ‘ace’ runner-up, and led the gold medal in the finals where Korea was eliminated.
The first gold medal won after naturalization. For Xiaojun Lin, it is the first time in four years since he won four gold medals at the 2019 World Championships.
Although he sighed with a valuable gold medal while his position was faltering, it is Lin Xiaojun who needs to show more to compete with the Liu brothers.
He aims to win the last World Cup (6th round) of the season to be held in Dordrecht, the Netherlands this week, and the World Championships to be held in March. Coincidentally, the World Championships in March will be held in Seoul, his home country.
Competition with Park Ji-won (Seoul City Hall), who has emerged as the ‘ace’ of Korean men’s short track speed skating, has become inevitable.