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Kim Yeon-koung chooses to play in China for her next season

Kim Yeon-koung chooses to play in China for her next season

Posted May. 21, 2021 07:24,   

Updated May. 21, 2021 07:24


Kim Yeon-koung’s return to China was predictable. However, it is still unknown where she will go afterward.

According to her agent Lianat on Thursday, Kim is in the final process of closing an agreement with the Shanghai Bright Ubest Women's Volleyball Club. The contract lasts one season.

“Beijing BAIC Motor was also interested in Kim. However, it was said that Kim preferred the team that she was with during the 2017-2018 season,” said a source familiar with transfers in volleyball. “The shorter Chinese league will be less physically straining and easier to prepare for the next season for Kim who is in her mid-30s.”

When she first decided to play in the Chinese league four years ago, Kim mentioned that the higher number of games means more physically challenging. The Shanghai Bright Ubest Women's Volleyball Club only played 12 games last season, while Kim played a total of 41 games last year from Jecheon-Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives Volleyball Cup to V-league Championships. As twin sisters Lee Jae-yeong and Lee Da-yeong dropped out of the team due to scandals about their history of bullying, Kim also had to play with psychological stress.


The Chinese league’s 2021-2022 season schedule has not been released, although it is likely that the new season will be finished within two months. Kim can play in the Chinese league and try to return to Europe in early January next year. She might be able to enter the U.S. market where the professional volleyball league was launched for the first time this year.

It is not impossible for Kim to return to her current team Heungkuk Life after the Chinese league. Kim who can sign a contract with an overseas league team, as a free agent needs to play over 40 percent of the next season’s games for Heungkuk Life to meet the eligibility of a free agent in South Korea.

Kyu-In Hwang kini@donga.com