Thursday, 28th September 2023

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When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them


Cesarho, who suffered a series of ‘shock losses’ for two years… Trying to get a ticket to Paris, but in reality, the goal is ‘one win’

The Korean women’s volleyball team is once again on the world stage. It is expected to be a thorny road.

The national team, led by coach Cesar Hernández, will participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics qualifiers to be held in Łódź, Poland, until the 24th. Korea (world ranking 36th) belonged to Group C. After playing Italy (5th place) on the 17th Korean time, Poland (7th place) on the 18th, Germany (12th place) on the 19th, USA (2nd place) on the 20th, Colombia (20th place) on the 22nd, and Thailand (23rd place) on the 23rd. 14th place) and will face Slovenia (25th place) on the 24th. 

The national team consists of 14 people. Setter Kim Da-in (Hyundai Engineering & Construction), Kim Ji-won (GS Caltex), outside heater Kang So-hwi, Kwon Min-ji (GS Caltex), Park Jeong-ah, Lee Han-bi (Pepper Savings Bank), Pyo Seung-ju (IBK Industrial Bank of Korea), aposite spiker Lee Seon-woo (Cheong Kwan-jang). , middle blockers Park Eun-jin, Jeong Ho-young (Cheong Kwan-jang), Lee Da-hyun (Hyundai Engineering & Construction), Lee Joo-ah (Heungkuk Life Insurance), and liberos Kim Yeon-gyeon (Hyundai Engineering & Construction) and Moon Jeong-won (Korea Expressway Corporation) were named.

In this tournament, you must play the full league and place in the top two of your group to qualify for the Paris Olympics. But realistically, even one win does not seem easy. Korea, which has the lowest world ranking in Group C, is considered the weakest.

After the appointment of coach Cesar at the end of October 2021, the national team continued to go downhill. They were eliminated after losing all 12 matches in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) preliminary round held in June and July last year. They ranked last among 16 teams. We could not win even a single point. They took only 3 sets in total and gave up 36 sets. Since the creation of the competition in 2018, it has become the first team to bear the disgrace of ‘all losses and no wins’. Belgium, ranked 15th, one place above, recorded 4 wins, 8 losses, and 8 points.

The World Championships held in September and October last year were assigned to Group B. It competed with Poland, Turkye, Dominican Republic, Thailand and Croatia. They only won one game by beating their last opponent, Croatia, with a set score of 3-1. They finished 5th in Group B with 1 win, 4 losses, and 3 points. Didn’t advance to round 2. They were ranked 20th out of 24 teams participating in the competition. Following 17th place in 2018, it finished with its lowest ranking ever.

There was no progress this year either. Rather, it appears to be regressing. In the VNL preliminary round held from May to July, they once again lost all 12 games and withdrew with 0 points. This time too, I only won 3 sets and lost 36 sets. Even though the 3rd week of the schedule was held in Suwon, Korea, the home stadium, there was no turnaround. All they had to do was win one set each against Bulgaria and China. There were many cases where they fell behind from the beginning of the set or allowed a comeback even after leading by a few points. Cesarho accepted a miserable report card of 24 consecutive losses in the VNL over two years. 

The Asian Championships, which ended on the 6th, was the peak of shock. The national team ranked 6th out of 14 teams. Since participating in the inaugural competition in 1975, it has participated a total of 20 times until 2019, but this is the first time it has failed to advance to the semifinals. Previously, he finished runner-up 7 times, 3rd place 10 times, and 4th place 3 times. It ranked 3rd in 2019, when it most recently participated. However, this year, for the first time in 48 years, we suffered 스포츠토토humiliation.

I buttoned it wrong from the first game. They lost to Vietnam with a set score of 2-3. Because it was a reverse sweep, I was even more disappointed. Even though I won the 1st and 2nd sets, I lost the 3rd, 4th, and 5th sets. Then, in the match against Taiwan, they took the 1st and 2nd sets first, then gave up the 3rd and 4th sets, and won the 5th set to secure a 3-2 victory. Cesarho took a breather with a shutout win against Uzbekistan. After losing 0-3 to Thailand, they won 3-0 against Australia. They reported a 3-0 win in the 5th to 8th place match against India. They finished the tournament in 6th place, losing 0-3 in the 5th-6th place match against Kazakhstan.

Even in Asia, they were pushed to the periphery. It is embarrassing to even bring up the word ‘international competitiveness’. Coach Cesar has not proven anything to date, about two years after his appointment. He could not find any tactics that would maximize the players’ organizational skills and improve their performance. Doubts about leadership are growing.

One volleyball industry official said, “It seems like the coach doesn’t have a good grasp of each player’s abilities. I don’t see Coach Cesar’s unique strengths or characteristics. They say they are focusing on analysis, but they are trying to help players carry out strategies through training. “I think creating is the priority,” he said, adding, “It is also disappointing to respond to the situation and manage the game. For example, if the flow is over by conceding consecutive goals, the atmosphere should be broken by time of operation or replacement of players, but the timing was late.”

The players’ performance is also at a standstill. Outside heater Kim Yeon-kyung, middle blocker Kim Su-ji (Heungkuk Life Insurance) and Yang Hyo-jin (Hyundai Engineering & Construction), who were previously central players, returned the Taegeuk Mark and began a generational change, but are experiencing difficulties. It is unfortunate that there is no clear ace. Kang So-hwi and others fought hard, but could not reach victory. Lee Seon-woo, the only apothecary spiker of this national team, was unable to leave the country with the base due to symptoms of enteritis. He is in the mountains.

Korean women’s volleyball ranked 4th at the 2012 London Olympics, 5th at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, and 4th at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (held in 2021). If they do not win a ticket to the finals of the Paris Olympics, they will suffer the first hardship in 16 years since the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The Olympic preliminaries will be immediately followed by the Hangzhou Asian Games. The women’s national team will play its first match on the 1st of next month. Is it possible to achieve even small results in a forced march? I hope nothing but bitterness remains.

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