The South Korean women’s volleyball team led by the captain Kim Yeon-koung advanced to the Olympic semi-finals for the first time in nine years. South Korea beat Turkey 3-2 in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympic women’s volleyball tournament at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on Wednesday. This is the first time in nine years that South Korea has earned a spot in the semi-finals since it last did at the 2012 London Olympics. The South Korean team now looks to relive the honor of winning an Olympic medal like it did 45 years ago at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
Turkey, ranked fourth in the world, was deemed a stronger opponent for world No. 13 South Korea. South Korea has a record of two wins and seven losses to Turkey with a six-game losing streak since it last beat Turkey at the 2010 volleyball world championships. South Korea was offered best odds of 6/1 for a victory by an overseas sports betting site. The average height of South Korean players (182.3 cm) is six centimeters lower than that of Turkish players (188.3 cm).
The South Korean squad defeated Turkey against all odds. In particular, South Korea was down 5-7 early in the fifth set. But from 10-10, South Korea scored straight points with Park Eun-jin making powerful serves and Kim Yeon-koung tipping smart dinks. South Korea claimed a full set victory against Turkey like it did with Dominican Republic and Japan.
Kim, who had played in the Turkish league, recorded the most points (28) among all the players from the two countries. The South Korean captain received a red card while protesting the referee’s decision. South Korea’s outside hitter Park Jeong-a scored the second most points for the team, while scoring points in decisive moments.
“This means more to me than when we reached the semifinals at the London Olympics. I can confidently say we prepared a lot for the Olympics,” said Kim, who entered the mixed zone with a hoarse voice. “As a volleyball player, I am so happy that we were able to show fans good volleyball.” Kim, said she was so nervous that she slept less than an hour before the game.
Hong-Gu Kang firstname.lastname@example.org