I went back and forth between hell and heaven. Now that we have reached the round of 12 of the tournament, there is no place for us to retreat anymore.
The Korean men’s volleyball team, led by coach Lim Do-heon, recorded 1 win and 1 loss in Group C of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games group stage, finishing second in the group and advancing to the round of 12 tournament. They suffered a blow to India in the first game held on the 20th, but recovered with a shutout win in the second game against Cambodia on the 21st.
The result of the first match against India was shocking. Korea is ranked 27th in the world, but struggled throughout the game against India, which is ranked 73rd and weak. Blocking (6-12) was pushed back by as much as twice, and Beomsil (36-19) destroyed himself by pouring out nearly twice as much.
This was a surprising result even in India. Indian media ‘fitsportsindia’ reported after the game, “India토토사이트 made history by defeating Korea in the group stage,” and “Indian players’ confidence must have increased as they won against Korea, a three-time champion.”
Regarding the loss in the first game, Coach Lim said, “I think there was some pressure about the first game,” and “That’s why we made a lot of mistakes and it was a difficult game.” He added, “I think we will have a good game if we reduce mistakes and work together more.”
Korea entered the second game even before the shock of defeat had subsided. The opponent was Cambodia, which is evaluated as having a lower level than India. Cambodia is a country considered to be on the periphery of volleyball, to the extent that it is not included in the world rankings.
Against Cambodia, Korea showed a bit of shakiness in the early stages of the game. After a back-and-forth match, the team barely won the game with a score of 23 to 23 thanks to consecutive goals from Kim Min-jae and Na Kyung-bok. Coach Lim explained the poor performance in the first set, saying, “I think the players were embarrassed because the opponent’s serve was much better than expected.”
Regarding the victory in the second game, Coach Lim said, “We played until late last night and played again today,” and encouraged, “The players must have been very tired, but I think they did well.” He continued, “I think that if my condition improves, I will show a good performance in the next game as well.”
Now that we are entering the tournament, if we lose, we have to pack up right away. Coach Lim raised his voice, saying, “I gave (Jeon) Gwang-in a rest today, but starting tomorrow, I think he will have to give his all in every game, thinking it’s the final.”
Pakistan, the opponent in the round of 12, is also ranked 51st, much lower than Korea, which is 27th. However, Coach Lim expressed caution, saying, “This is definitely a team with good height.” He then emphasized, “We need to play more aggressively by swinging the serve a lot,” and “We need to have an edge in blocking and defense as well.”
Korea is aiming for its first gold medal in 17 years since the 2006 Doha Games. Attention is focused on whether the team will win the round of 12 match against Pakistan held at the China Textile City Sports Center Gymnasium at 8 PM (Korean time) on the 22nd and continue its challenge for the top.
In the second game, Jeong Ji-seok’s appearance stood out. Jeong Ji-seok, who missed the first game due to back pain, led the team to victory by scoring 11 points, the most in the team, in the second game. Coach Lim praised, “(Jeong) Ji-seok must have had difficulty adjusting to his first game, but he overcame it well.”
Regarding Jeong Ji-seok’s physical condition, he said, “He said he was not in good shape before coming to Hangzhou, but it was not serious. Before the competition, he had back pain and numbness in his left ankle, which hindered his ability to exercise.” Coach Lim did not let Jeong Ji-seok play in the first game to protect the player.
Fortunately, the condition appears to have improved now. Jeong Ji-seok said, “I took medicine at the infirmary yesterday and today, and it seems like the pain has subsided a little.” In response, Coach Lim said, “We plan to use (Jeong Ji-seok) in the next game when necessary.”