Some 160 Korean idols showed off their athletic ability and physical strength at MBC’s biannual sports variety show “Idol Star Track and Field Championships” (translated title) on Tuesday.
During the all-day-long taping of the show held at the Goyang Stadium and Gymnasium in Korea’s city of Goyang,160 idol members including 2AM, miss A, Henry of Super Junior M, BEAST, INFINITE, MBLAQ, ZE:A, APink, Teen Top, B1A4, EXO, and Crayon Pop, participated in three categories — track and field, archery and futsal.
While the track and field events and archery took place with thousands of fans under the sun at the Stadium, the Gymnasium hosted futsal game, where some of the most popular boy idol members joined including at least one member of a celebrity soccer team.
With surprising coaches Song Jong-guk and Yoo Sang-chul, the two Korean soccer heroes from the 2002 Korea & Japan World Cup, 32 boy idols were divided into four groups and had a tournament.
The first face-off was between SM artists’ Team B – INFINITE’s Hoya and Woohyun, EXO’s LUHAN, XIUMIN, SUHO, and BAEK HYUN, Tasty’s Soryong, and Shorry J of Mighty Mouth – and CUBE and TS Entertainments’ Team D — BEAST’S Yoon Dujun, Lee Gikwang, and Yang Yoseob, BTOB’s Eun Kwang, B.A.P’s Zelo, Bang Yong-guk, Youngjae and solo artist Roh Ji-hoon.
Before the game started, the two teams’ coaches began their war of nerves during a pre-interview. Team B’s coach Song Jong-guk chose Woohyun as the ace player of his team, while Woohyun chose BEAST’s Dujun as his best enemy.
Team D’s coach Yoo Sang-chul, who was the ace defender on the Korean national soccer team, said his strategy is to focus on defense at the beginning and score later. The team’s leader Dujun was confident of winning and said he focused on practicing the basics for it.
Like Woohyun had said, Dujun surely caught attention during the game with his individual ball trapping skills. The idol players were full of energy and passion to win the game. EXO’s LUHAN made the game’s first goal attempt, which bounced off the goalpost, but it didn’t stop him and he made the first goal right after.
After marking himself as the first scorer, LUHAN seemed delighted and full of confidence while playing the game where the eight of Team D players started to take the offense. Team D was pressured to score but the situation suddenly changed after EXO’s XIUMIN gave Team B its second goal.
Although the average height of team B’s members was far from tall, they moved fast and made a score of good passes, making the other team confused. In addition to that, Team D’s members hesitated before shooting the ball in front of the goalpost throughout the game.
Not sticking to their strategy to focus on defense first and score later, Dujun, the team’s ace and leader penetrated deep and fast into enemy territory but it was soon blocked by skilled Team B players.
Dujun continued to play aggressively during the second half of the game but since he was running too fast there was nobody to receive his ball. Alhough Dujun was mostly blocked by the fast players of Team B, he finally succeeded to score a point.
The heat of the game reached its climax when INFINITE’s Hoya scored a tie goal just a minute before the game was over.
So the players then began a penalty shoot-out. Solo artist and Team D’s goalkeeper Roh Ji-hoon was the hero of the shoot-out, blocking all the balls and leading Team D to the finals, after beating Team B five to three in the penalty shoot-out.
After Team B and D’s exciting game was over, Team A — 2AM’s Seulong and Changmin, B1A4′s Jinyoung, Baro, and Gongchan, 100%’s Sanghoon, A-JAX’s Seungyeob and Gu Ja-myeong – and Team C — ZE:A’s Dongjun, Minwoo, and Taehun, U-KISS’s Soohyun and Kiseob, VIXX’s N, Leo and Son Jin-young – brought on the second game of the tournament.
Compared to the previous game, Team A and C’s game was loose and boring at first. With young idols who are full of energy and power, the ball kept on vanishing into the air and crossed over the line.
Team C’s VIXX member Leo was the first scorer and then ZE:A’s Dongjun scored another point, making the score two to zero. Dongjun celebrated his goal with backwards tumbling, exhibiting the best goal ceremony of all games.
It seemed to be clear that Team C would win when U-Kiss member Soohyun scored the third point by kicking the ball into the goalpost which rebounded from the goalkeeper.
However, Team A was patient. Team A’s leader and TV audition “The Great Birth” star Gu Ja-myeong, who was a member of Korean U-20 national soccer team, brought the team its first score.
Gu was the hero of the game, proving his former title. After scoring a second goal with an assist from B1A4′s Baro, the singer achieved a hat trick by scoring yet another goal.
It was like from a drama or movie when he made his fourth goal, which turned the game around. was a reversal goal. With patience and good assistance from his team mates, Gu took Team A to the finals.
The final battle between Team A and Team D, which decided the first futsal idol champion, took place at the same venue at 10 p.m. last night yet behind closed doors.
This year’s big gathering of idol stars and their die-hard fans will be aired during this year’s Chuseok, the Korean thanksgiving holiday, which falls from September 18 to 20. Let’s keep our eyes open to see which idols will be the new champion.
Courtesy of MBC