‘Korean women’s volleyball hasn’t won a gold medal in 17 years’

“This result speaks to the reality of women’s volleyball.”

The Korean women’s volleyball team, coached by Cesar Hernández González, fell to China 0-3 (12-25, 21-25, 16-25) in the first set of their Group E quarterfinal match at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Changchen Campus Gymnasium of Hangzhou Normal University in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China at 7:00 p.m. (local time) on Thursday.

The result means they will not advance to the semifinals regardless of the outcome of their remaining quarterfinal match against North Korea. South Korea lost to Vietnam in the preliminary round. They came in with one loss. With two losses, they cannot reach the semifinals even if they win against North Korea on Friday.

South Korea’s fifth-place finish at Doha 2006 was the only time it failed to win a medal. Seventeen years later, the no-medal disaster happened in Hangzhou. After men’s volleyball suffered a no-medal disaster 61 years after the 1962 Jakarta Games, women’s volleyball also failed to bring home a medal. This is the first time Korean men’s and women’s volleyball have failed to bring home a medal together at an Asian Games.

Korea was no match for China. Only Kang So-hwi (GS Caltex) scored nine points. No other player scored in double figures. China had four players in double figures, including Yuan Xinyue, and was outrebounded 27-47 and outblocked 2-7.

After the game, Coach Cesar said, “We prepared hard to beat China, one of the strongest teams. We worked hard, even taking risks in reception, but it’s too bad we couldn’t get the win,” said Cesar.

“Jungwon Moon started the game. I think it’s encouraging that she brought stability to our receiving and diversity to our otherwise monotonous attacking options.”

A win over Vietnam would have prevented this disaster. Even if South Korea wins both of their ranking games, including the one against North Korea, the highest they can finish is fifth.

Cesar said, “We’re going to shift our goals quickly. We will aim for fifth place, the highest of the remaining positions. After North Korea, we will face Taiwan and Kazakhstan. We lost to Kazakhstan in the Asian Championship. It will be a tough match, but we will focus on that match.”

The recent international results speak to the reality of Korean women’s volleyball. This year alone. A sweep of the 2023 Volleyball Nations League (VNL), a quarterfinal exit at the 2023 Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Asian Women’s Championships, a loss in the Paris 2024 Olympic Qualifiers, and an Asian Games bronze medal.

“Results tell us where we are,” said Cesar. I think it’s the reality of women’s volleyball. We need to discuss and find solutions. If we keep getting the same results, we need to change our methods.”

The team has less than 24 hours to prepare for the 토토 match against North Korea.

“It’s not easy to win all three matches, but we’ll get ready for the next match against North Korea right away. We’ll forget about it quickly,” he said.

South Korea fights a civil war at 2:30 p.m. on May 5. It has been six years since the Korean War.

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