SEOUL, 27January (BelTA -Yonhap News). - In their first two Winter Olympics together, South Korean men's luge doubles tandem of Park Jin-yong and Cho Jung-myung finished 18th and then ninth.
Partners since 2013, Park and Cho believe their next step will take them to the podium in Beijing next month.
"Going into our third Olympics, we've taken a different approach. We've been paying closer attention to small details," Park said at an online media conference Wednesday. "We've addressed our shortcomings. We definitely feel like we can aim higher than before."
"We aren't as nervous as we had been before previous Olympics," Cho said. "We will try to be better than ninth and go for a medal."
They haven't exactly set the luge world on fire during this past International Luge Federation (FIL) World Cup season, finishing outside the top 10 in all seven appearances.
But Cho said his team's start has been much better and will continue to improve before the Feb. 4-20 Olympics.
"We finished ninth in PyeongChang (in 2018), but we were near the bottom in our start times," Cho said. They ranked 19th out of 20 teams in the start time of the first run and 16th in the second run. "We have become so much better in that area. We are still not at the world class level, but we have closed the gap quite a bit."
Park and Cho make an odd couple of sorts when it comes to their contrasting personalities. Park is the fiery type with a shorter fuse, while Cho is the quieter and introverted one. In their early days, Park used to be tough on Cho for every small mistake in training. Cho took all of that in stride, and they have become tighter on and off the track as a result.
"We had our differences early on, but as time passed, we grew to understand each other better," said Cho, a former collegiate football player. "We've learned a lot about each other over the years."
Park, once a biathlete, chimed in: "We are different, but we always chase the same goal. That's what makes it easier for us to adjust to each other and make sacrifices as necessary."