South Korea’s volleyball program is undergoing a major overhaul, replacing both the men’s and women’s national teams.
“We are very sorry for our poor performance in recent international competitions, including the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, and would like to apologize to the Korean public and volleyball fans who have supported us,” the Korean Volleyball Association said in an apology letter signed by President Oh Han-nam on Monday.
“The current men’s head coach Lim Do-heon’s tenure ended after the Hangzhou Asian Games, and the women’s head coach César has mutually agreed to terminate his contract as it is no longer feasible to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”
The men’s and women’s performance coaches (Choi Cheon-sik for the men and Kim Chul-yong for the women) also took responsibility for the poor performance and decided to step down.
Men’s and women’s ‘shared gold medal’ humiliation… A first in Asian Games history
For the first time ever, Korean volleyball suffered a ‘co-medal’ humiliation at the Asian Games. The men’s team didn’t even make it to the quarterfinals as they were swept aside by the likes of India and Pakistan.
In the end, they were eliminated before the official start of the Games, finishing in seventh place and earning their first gold medal in 61 years since Jakarta 1962.
The women’s team, which was unprepared for a generational change after the Tokyo Olympics as veterans Kim Yeon-kyung, Kim Soo-ji, and Yang Hyo-jin retired in droves, also finished fifth, earning just their second Asian Games medal in 17 years and their first since Doha 2006.
It was a shaky start. They suffered a shocking reverse sweep to Vietnam in their first game. A win over Nepal seemed to revitalize their spirits, but a 0-3 setback to China in the quarterfinals after a strong group stage performance dashed their medal hopes.
They managed to salvage some dignity by beating Kazakhstan and Chinese Taipei in the final match. But it was not enough for the women’s team, who were looking to bounce back from a poor international campaign that included a 12-match losing streak in this year’s FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL), a sixth-place finish at the Asian Championships and a seventh consecutive failure to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
“Humbly accepting criticism and reprimands”… the Korean Volleyball Association bowed its head
In the end, with nowhere to turn, the Korean volleyball organization decided to undergo major surgery, starting with the replacement of the national team’s head coach.토토사이트
“We will establish and implement a mid- to long-term development plan to be reborn through growing pains through a bone-crushing reorganization,” the association said, “humbly accepting and reflecting on the criticisms and reprimands from all walks of life to improve the national team’s performance, as well as setting the direction for the association to move forward.”
He also announced that a public hearing will be held in November with the media, volleyball experts, volleyball fans and others.
He concluded his apology by saying, “We will do our best to select the right leader to improve the national team’s performance,” and “We will spare no effort to support the players to perform at their best.”
It will be interesting to see if Korean volleyball, once a dominant force on the world stage but now a “paper tiger” in Asia, can regain its glory days.