Shin-Soo Choo, South Korea Win Asian Games: Military Obligation To Be Waived?

Kyle W. BrownContributor IINovember 19, 2010

GUANGZHOU, CHINA - NOVEMBER 19:  Shin-soo Choo #17 of South Korea celebrates with his gold medals after South Korea defeated Chinese Taipei 9-3 to win the gold medal at Aoti Baseball Field 1 during day seven of the 16th Asian Games Guangzhou 2010 on November 19, 2010 in Guangzhou, China.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

A couple of weeks ago we discussed how Shin-Soo Choo faces the possibility of being forced to serve in South Korea's military for two years, as all capable South Korean men are obliged to do, putting his baseball career on hiatus in the middle of its prime. The exception was that Choo could be waived of his duty if he secured a gold medal for his national baseball team at the 2010 Asian Games.

Well, guess what. Earlier today, South Korea knocked off Chinese Taipei by a final of 9-3, winning the gold.

Choo knocked in two runs today, and was a standout throughout the tournament, as he finished with a .517 average, three homers and a .700 OBP.

"I will now be able to focus strictly on baseball. A lot of fans and players have been concerned about my future and that led to great results here," Choo told reporters. "It is an honor to wear the national flag and secure the gold medal for my country."

As Jordan Bastian reports, this should now make Choo exempt from his military obligation to the country, as many speculated before the tournament began.

However, no official word has been handed down yet.

Choo, 28, has been one of the few bright spots for the rebuilding Cleveland Indians over the past couple of seasons. Should Choo be granted immunity, it's expected that the Indians will try to ink Choo to a long-term deal.