KU united despite inclement weather
The 2019 Annual Ko-Yon Games took place.
Due to Typhoon Lingling, the 2nd day of the event was cancelled.
Korea University and Yonsei University had their 2019 Annual Korea-Yonsei Games (hereinafter, Ko-Yon Jeon) on Sept. 6, 2019.
Every year, the two prestigious universities in Korea host their annual matches, taking it as an opportunity to reaffirm their unwavering friendship and long-lasting tradition. Rooted in rivalry matches between Bosung College and Yonhi College, the annual Ko-Yon Jeon is known as the one and only match with the highest festivity among students from the two universities. Not to mention the fact that the two schools share a history of fighting in unity against the Japanese colonists.
The history of sports exchange between the two universities dates back to 1925 when their first tennis match was held. After the first match, a soccer match took place two years later, which laid a foundation for Ko-Yon Jeon. Since 1965 the annual match has set its format with five events: baseball, basketball, ice hockey, rugby, and soccer.
With the opening ceremony at the Mokdong Baseball Stadium taking place at 10 am on Sept. 6, the 2019 Annual Ko-Yon Jeon began its two-day journey. At the beginning of the ceremony, the squads from both universities entered the stadium. Next, presidents and student body presidents of the two schools delivered their congratulatory addresses. The congratulatory speech by President Yong-Hak Kim of Yonsei University, the hosting school, was followed by the welcoming speech by KU President Jin Taek Chung.
President Chung began his speech by saying, “Recently, it really caught my attention that President Yong-Hak Kim of Yonsei University has been playing a central role in opening a new chapter of the university’s history. Yonsei University has been leading the future of Korea by suggesting wise solutions to problems facing the nation. We, Korea University, also have been trying our best to become an educational institution nurturing future leaders with creative ideas and leading meaningful changes in the world. The two universities will always respect each other’s tradition and academic philosophy and continue our competition in good faith, which, we believe, will take us to the next level of development in the end.”
During his speech, he mentioned how highly he thought of the passion that student athletes from both universities had. “Student athletes representing the two universities stand here today after countless hours of practicing even on harshly cold winter days and under the scorching heat in summer for the glory of their school. Every drop of sweat they have got, until they finally made it here, is more precious than anything in the world. In addition, such passionate support from Yonsei and KU students, cheering squads, friends, and faculty members are something that cannot be replaced. Shouts and cheers from Yonsei and KU families, making the stadium a full house, will definitely prove that those efforts our athletes have put in will pay off sooner or later.”
He continued, “When Confucius talked about an archery contest, he said a competition of noble men requires each player to show his ability to the full extent of his power, but at the same time, to practice good manners towards his counterpart. If we try our best in the competition, having respect for each other and enjoying the game, we all deserve to become true winners. Let’s cheer for our players and give them a big hand regardless of the result of the game.” President Chung did not forget to thank faculty members of both universities for their efforts to successfully host the matches of the day.
Ga-Young Kim and Yo-han Park, the presidents of the Student Association from Korea University and Yonsei University, respectively, also celebrated the kickoff of Ko-Yon Jeon. Representative players of the squads took the oath of fair play on behalf of their teams. Before the actual matches, the presidents and cheering squads paid a visit to their counterpart’s university. Their visit was warmly welcomed by students of each university.
[Baseball] Fickle weather never stopped players.
At 11 am, the baseball game was on, marking the beginning of the annual sports match. Changeable weather conditions made it difficult to predict whether the game would proceed or not. Thanks to fair weather, it was possible for the game to start on schedule. With loud cheers, KU and Yonsei had a close game until the second inning when Yonsei scored the first point. With runners on first and second and two outs, Joo-han Kim (’16, Yonsei University) hit a home run over the left wall, putting Yonsei ahead by two points.
In the third inning, Hyun-jun Choi (’18, Department of Physical Education) gained a point via his aggressive base running, pushing his team to fiercely chase its opponent. However, Yeong-chae Na (’17, Yonsei) made it to home base with support from his team players, widening the point gap to two points. Due to sudden rainfall, the game was stopped for about an hour, which turned out to have a negative impact on Kwan-woo Hyeong (’19, Yonsei). When the pitcher wavered, KU players took advantage of the opportunity. Two runners made it to home plate and evened the score 3-3. However, in the seventh inning, with bases loaded and one out, Do-ryeol Baek (’18, Yonsei) hit a double, giving his team a 3 point lead. Although the overall game was a neck to neck race, Yonsei kept the 3-point lead until the ninth inning and won their first victory in this year’s Ko-Yon Jeon. Spectators at the baseball stadium did not spare their cheers and applause for the players who did their utmost in inclement weather.
[Ice Hockey] Lost, but well played.
At 2 pm, the ice hockey game began at the Mokdong Ice Rink. Spectators and players, who still vividly remembered the come-from-behind victory from the last year, had big expectations of the game. During the first period, KU and Yonsei had a very close race. Despite several stinging shots in a row by Yonsei, KU continued its stable defense with amazing saves by KU goalie Hyun-seob Shim (’16, Department of Physical Education. Je-hui Lee (’16, Department of Physical Education) shot the puck from the left corner of the goal post, but it was blocked by Tae-kyeong Kim (’17, Yonsei).
With loud cheers from KU and Yonsei students, the second period began. The opening goal of the period was by Yonsei. Hyun-jin Chung (’19, Yonsei) broke through the defensive line and shot the puck into the net. Not long after, Sang-yun Shin (’16, Department of Physical Education) took a shot which passed through the legs of Yonsei’s goalie, tying the score. Despite being bombarded with continuous attacks from Yonsei, KU’s goalie, Hyun-seob Shim, was not shaken, but put up a good defense. However, at 15 minutes 55 seconds, In-su Oh (’18, Yonsei) succeeded in scoring, and the second period ended with Yonsei leading the game.
From the beginning of the third period, KU made a counterattack, shooting strong several times, but failed to score. Yonsei kept pushing its opponent with numerous shots, but KU defenders showed a great performance without losing their concentration. Sadly, Geon-woo Kim (’18, Yonsei) shook the net, adding one more point for his team. After that, KU tried to change the mood by changing the goalie to Ki-wan Kim (’19, Department of Physical Education), but Yonsei succeeded in scoring once more, solidifying its dominant position. Failing high expectations from KU students who remembered the victory from last year, the KU Ice Hockey team had to drink a bitter cup. The final score was 1 to 4. Although the team lost the game, KU students gave the players a big round of applause to encourage them who would be the ones that suffered the defeat most.
[Basketball] KU showed an example of a landslide victory.
The Jangchung Arena was already heated up before the game began. At 3:30 pm, an hour and a half before the game started, the cheering sections for the two universities were already fully occupied. Once students from the two schools had their seats, fierce pep rallies began. Following the sounds of the KU cheering squads and the movement of Jeong-hyun Park (’16, Department of Physical Education), team leader, the KU basketball team warmed up and got ready for the game.
At 5 pm, not long after a whistle was blown, Ho-yeong Chung (’18, Department of Physical Education) drew an outside shot, drawing attention from everyone at the stadium. Before the sixth minute passed, KU had already scored six points. With clean and successful shots from its players, the KU basketball team maintained its winning spirit. To prop up the mood, the KU cheering squad and students cheered loudly. Yonsei, on the other hand, seemed to lose their pace and kept failing in their offense. The Yonsei players were blocked by defensive strategies that the KU team adopted and even made several violations. Around the middle of the first quarter, despite a 15- point gap between the two teams, Ji-won Park (’17, Yonsei University) took a leading role in narrowing the score by counterattacking. However, the Yonsei players failed to close the gap with the first quarter ending 29-16.
The second quarter, starting with a two-point shot by Jin-yeong Kim (’17, Department of Physical Education), added more heat to the competition between the two schools. The Yonsei team played quite aggressively to make up for their mistakes in the first quarter, which turned out to be successful from time to time during the second quarter. However, with tight defense and smart offense strategies, the KU team did not let their opponent narrow the point gap. One minute before the end of the second quarter, Hyeong-jun Chun (’17, Yonsei University) succeeded in scoring, but was soon counterattacked by Ho-yeong Chung (’18, Department of Physical Education). Chung scored right before the break.
In the early phase of the third quarter, thanks to a foul by one of the Yonsei players, Yun-ki Ha (’18, Department of Physical Education) was given a chance for a free throw, widening the point gap to 17. Powerful defensive strategies adopted by the KU players were effective in dampening the spirit of their counterpart. On the other hand, the KU players showed perfect teamwork in rebound play, passing play, and finally shooting. The KU-favored mood was maintained until the game ended 82-70
To celebrate the victory, the KU cheering squad played their signature, boatman’s song. Students, exhausted from cheering for a long time, all stood up from their seats and cheered loudly to express their joy. Winning the basketball game brought a greater relief than expected as it was the last game of the day.
KU President Jin Taek Chung took the rostrum to celebrate the victory and praised the KU basketball team for their performance. Jeong-hyun Park, team leader, dressed like the captain of the KU cheering squad and drank a whole bottle of makkeoli to celebrate the victory. Before the game even began, Park made a pledge of doing several things. Drinking a bottle of makkeoli in the cheering squad leader’s attire was one of them. “I am so glad that I finally get to fulfill my pledge,” said the team leader.
The rugby and soccer games scheduled for the second day of Ko-Yon Jeon, Sept. 7, were cancelled due to Typhoon Lingling moving northwards.
In the morning on that day, the two universities had a discussion and came to a conclusion to cancel the games of the second day. The scheduled games were a rugby match (11 am) and a soccer game (2:30 pm) at the Mokdong Main Stadium.
At 7:30 am, Korea University announced the cancellation of the games via text message, e-mail, and posting on its official homepage. The announcement read, “We hereby announce the cancellation of the game events scheduled on the second day of Ko-Yon Jeon. The decision was made in an effort to emphasize the importance of prevention of safety accidents and to sympathize with those who suffered from damage caused by Typhoon Lingling. We offer words of consolation to those who prepared for the events for a long time: student councils, athletic clubs, cheering squads, alumni, and faculty members. We ask for your kind understanding.”
Despite inclement weather, the Ko-Yon Jeon of this year was indeed a student gathering with great festivity where student athletes, who prepared for the matches for an entire year, and university members could be together for one united goal.