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At 45°C, It’s a Sauna!

Posted June. 07, 2005 06:29,   


“War on Heat.” Highs around 45°C, 37~39°C at the start of the match.

Scorching heat emerges as the greatest threat to the Korean national soccer team, which will soon play against Kuwait on June 9, in the last match of Group A of Asia’s final preliminary rounds for the 2006 Germany World Cup.

The average temperature around 8:45 p.m. Kuwait time (2:45 a.m. Korea time), when the match will begin, is 37~39°C, sometimes reaching up to 41°C. “It’s like you just stepped into a dry sauna,” said the Korean players, who arrived in Kuwait on June 5.

The team took a day off after the Uzbekistan match on June 3 before arriving in Kuwait following the decision by the techniques committee which advised the players not to tire themselves out by going to a hot country too soon. Kang Shin-woo, vice chairman of the techniques committee, said, “Physiologically speaking, you lose your concentration and weaken your performance dramatically starting from about 40 minutes after moving to a hot place from a cool room. The players need to prepare themselves for the match, for instance, by turning off the air conditioner in their rooms if possible.”

The players are not discouraged by the heat, however. Lee Young-pyo said, “It’s a lot hotter than I thought, but the hot weather is not an excuse.” Park Joo-young confidently agreed, “It’s true that the weather is something of a burden, but I can perform to my full ability under any conditions.” Coach Johannes Bonfrere also said, “The boys will overcome the heat well. June 9 will be the day for Korean soccer.”

Korea lags far behind Kuwait in away games with a track record of one victory, five losses, and a draw. The national team is going all-out to beat both the Middle Eastern heat and the team.