“I really want to know how they played against such strong opponents (overseas teams) and admire them”
On Sunday, Jincheon Athletes’ Village hosted an open training session for the Korean women’s volleyball team ahead of the 2023 Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship (Aug. 30-Sept. 6, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand).먹튀검증
The tournament will be held four years after the 2019 edition in Seoul. There are 14 nations participating. Host Thailand is an automatic qualifier and will be joined by South Korea, Japan, China, Kazakhstan, Taiwan, Iran, Australia, and India, who finished in the top 10 of the previous edition, as well as regional wildcards Uzbekistan, Hong Kong, Mongolia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
In Group C, South Korea will play Taiwan, Vietnam, and Uzbekistan.
It’s been two years since the Korean national team began to create a new style of volleyball under the leadership of Cheon Myung and Cesar.
One of the new challenges for the national team since Kim Yeon-kyung (Heungkuk Life) hung up her taegeuk is to find the next big thing on offense. Currently, there are a number of wingspikers in the domestic league who are serving as aces for their respective teams, but filling the void is still a challenge.
Kang So-hwi, who is currently being touted as one of the next generation of aces, is feeling both motivated and pressured.
In his last international tournament, the Volleyball Nations League (VNL), Kang totaled 83 points (2 blocking, 12 serving). He followed that up with the 2023 Gumi Dodram Cup, where he was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) after leading his team to a second straight title.
“The good feeling from the cup tournament has carried over to now,” Kang said. “Players from Europe and the U.S. have a lot of physical differences from us, but I think Korea will be able to push harder and with more confidence in Asian competitions.”
Of course, there is a lot of pressure as the main attacker after Kim Yeon-kyung’s retirement. When asked about it, he said, “It’s definitely a lot more pressure than in the domestic league, but I think if I can work as a team with my sisters and brothers and show my organizational skills, I think we can achieve good results.”
Of course, it’s hard to fill the void left by a world-class player. “Really, when we were doing so badly, I thought, ‘How did (Kim) play against such strong opponents,'” said Kang So-hwi, who laughed at a funny question about whether she wanted Kim Yeon-kyung, who participated as an advisor to the team, to come back down and play. “There are many matches that we won because she led us, and I really admire her more.” Still, the team is not giving up.
Nevertheless, there is no giving up. The current Korean team needs to build on its strengths and shore up its weaknesses to produce results. The team hasn’t performed well on the international stage, especially against European powerhouses, so they are desperate for a different result in Asia.
“In the last match, I couldn’t see the shape of my blocking hand because I put the ball behind me when I was attacking, but as I kept playing and faced taller blockers, I figured out (how to) score points,” Kang So-hwi said.
Meanwhile, the Korean women’s volleyball team will conclude their campaign at the 2023 Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship before heading to the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou starting on September 23.