INCHEON South Korea (Reuters) - South Korean student Kim Cheong-yong has idolised Olympic champion and world record holder Jin Jong-oh since first picking up a pistol in middle school.
However, that did not stop the 17-year-old blowing his mentor away in the 10 metre air pistol final on Sunday to become the youngest shooter to win an Asian Games gold medal.
Kim, who along with Jin and Lee Dae-myung also won gold in the team event, said his mentor still had so much to teach him despite proving the sharpest shot in Incheon.
“There are so many things to learn from him. As shooting is not done so much by your physicality as it is by your mind, he gave me much precious advice,” added high school student Kim, who won a silver at the recent Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.
“I hope to continue my shooting career for a long time with Jin, who I respect a lot.”
Kim told reporters he was still trying to get used to his new-found sporting fame after becoming South Korea’s first double gold medallist of the 17th Asiad.
“It is my first press conference. Because everything is new to me, I expect today will be the most memorable moment of my life.”
While not quite a day to forget for Jin, he struggled to swallow the disappointment of missing out on individual gold yet again.
A three-time Olympic and world champion, Jin won two gold medals at the Asian Games four years ago in Guangzhou - both in the pistol team events.
He had to settle for individual bronze on Sunday, denied even silver by China’s Pang Wei.
Jin broke a 50m pistol world record that had stood for 34 years earlier this month but nerves appeared to get the best of him on home soil.
“I don’t have much to say. Many people cheered for me to win gold so I am sorry that I could not,” he added.
“I think I felt a lot of pressure because the competition was held in Korea. I had the thought that we must win gold as a team, so it was more difficult than usual.”
The normally dead-eyed Jin found himself way off target at one point.
“I felt ashamed of myself that I shot 7s,” he said.
“But today we got the new hero, so let us celebrate his win.”
Editing by Amlan Chakraborty