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Hyundai’s decadeslong support for archery pays off at Asian Games

Spanning generations, auto giant marks longest-running sponsorship for single sport

Oct. 8, 2023 - 14:38 By Song Jung-hyun

Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Chung Euisun, who doubles as chairman of the Korean Archery Association, celebrates with South Korea’s male archery team after they won a gold medal at the 19th Asian Games in China, Friday. From left are Oh Jin-hyek, Lee Woo-seok, and Kim Je-deok. (Korean Archery Association)

Hyundai Motor Group’s decadeslong sponsorship for the Korean archery team has once again stepped into the spotlight as the national team swept up a total of 11 medals across individual and team categories over the past week at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

Industry watchers say the Korean auto giant’s systemic support, led by Honorary Chairman Chung Mong-koo and his son and Executive Chair Chung Euisun, has laid the foundation for the national team to demonstrate their full capacity on the global stage.

Serving as the chairman of the Korean Archery Association between 1985 and 1997, Chung Mong-koo is considered to have played a pivotal role in expanding and solidifying the base of archery in Korea by discovering excellent talents and promoting the domestic production of equipment.

“In particular, he was at the forefront of the domestic production of bows, an essential piece of equipment in archery. Unlike foreign-manufactured bows, domestically produced bows are tailored for the physique of Korean athletes, ensuring their optimal performance,” an industry official said. “The Korea-made bows have also earned international recognition and are now being widely used by international athletes as well.”

Building on the legacy of his father, Chung Euisun, who also doubles as chairman of the archery association, has further bolstered scientific advancements in Korean archery including systematic fostering of future talent and providing tailored assistance for each international competition.

For this 19th Asian Games, together with the Korea Archery Association, Hyundai provided comprehensive support for the national team, including customized training for the event's location, development, and provision of advanced technology-based training equipment alongside management of athletes’ overall well-being throughout the competition period.

The chairman accompanied the national team to China in person to boost their morale and monitor training conditions throughout the competition period.

He presented medals for Korean male and female archers who won the recurve individual archery event, to personally praise their performance.

“For players to maintain their optimal well-being, Chung provided designated resting space at the nearby hotel and oversaw a number of operational aspects including adequate nutritional provision,” the official added. “He secured deals with renowned local Korean restaurants in Hangzhou, to ensure that the national team was provided with traditional Korean meals for lunch throughout the duration of the competition.”

Apart from his support on the scene, he has also provided extensive support, leading up to the Asian Games by actively enhancing systematic training programs and encouraging the development of training equipment that utilizes cutting-edge technologies.

For example, he inspired a number of scientific innovations such as the precision target shooting machine, a tool that selects top-quality arrows, and the score automatic recording device that automatically records scores and logs them into a database.

Hyundai has maintained the longest-running sponsorship for a single sport among its chaebol rivals. Starting with the 1978 Bangkok Asian Games, Korea’s archery team has earned a total of 40 gold medals, 22 silver medals and 17 bronze medals at international competitions.