A sad departure: Retirement of Won Wooyoung and Oh Eunseok from the FIE circuit

We’ve been busy with a few major projects as late, but have been prompted to break radio silence by some unexpected news from Korea. Their national qualification tournament was held over the weekend:

korean nationals tableau
Spoiler alert: Gu Bongil didn’t win. Also if anyone has video of the final between Kim JH and Kim JH, they will be handsomely rewarded.

The new 2015/2016 squad was announced shortly after the event.

  • Gu Bongil
  • Ha Hansol
  • Kim Junghwan
  • Kim Junho
  • Oh Sanguk
  • Song Jonghun
  • Sung Junmo
  • Yu Gyutae

Two names are conspicuously absent from that list.

Where is this guy??
Where is this guy??
And this guy?? Where is this guy??
And this guy?? Where is this guy?? Where will I get my hilarious counterattack GIFs from now?

Oh Eunseok and Won Wooyoung  have retired from the Korean national team and will not be competing internationally this season. While some fallout from the team’s disappointing run at Moscow was expected, I think most observers were anticipating that the Big 4 would stay together until after Rio.

I’m sure I won’t be the only one sad to see these guys go from the FIE circuit. Both Won and Oh are among the most creative, exciting and influential fencers of their generation. They’ve introduced radical changes to our understanding of what sabre can be, and in doing so have made it a lot more fun to watch.

In the spirit of getting all nostalgic and sentimental, I’m going to be watching these on loop over the next few days, possibly while drinking red wine and crying:

This is, of course, all part of the great circle of life. Where the old guard falls, a new generation of absurdly trollish K-pop warriors and genetically engineered superfencers arise.

On that optimistic note, I’ll conclude with this ridiculous maneuver from Oh Sanguk, because why not.

I’ll be watching his future career with interest.

Still going to miss the original, though.
Still going to miss the original, though.