The men’s volleyball team sets sail to rebuild its tattered pride on the Asian stage.

The team, led by head coach Lim Do-heon, will compete at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, from Sept. 19-26.

South Korea, ranked 27th in the world, is in Group C. They will face India (ranked 73rd) at 8 p.m. KST on Aug. 20 and Cambodia (unranked) at 3:30 p.m. KST on Aug. 21. If they finish in the top two, they will advance to the round of 12. It should be a smooth ride. In the quarterfinals, they will play 1-6 and 7-12, depending on the tournament results. This will be followed by a ranking match and the final.

The national team includes 12 players. Setters Han (Korean Air) and Hwang Taek-ui (Armed Forces Athletic Corps), outside hitters Heo Su-bong (Hyundai Capital) and Lim Dong-hyuk (Korean Air), outside hitters Jeon Kwang-in (Hyundai Capital), Na Kyung-bok (Ministry of National Defense), Jeong Ji-seok and Jeong Jung-yong (Korean Air), libero Park Kyung-min (Hyundai Capital), middle blockers Kim Kyu-min and Kim Min-jae (Korean Air), and Kim Jun-woo (Samsung Fire) made the final roster.

Lim Do-heon-ho has lost two Asian tournaments this year. He finished third in the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Challenge Cup in July. She had her sights set on the title. The winner gets a spot in the FIVB Challenger Cup. The goal was to finish at the top of the Challenger Cup and join the FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) 2024.

But they didn’t even make it to the finals. They were drawn in Group B with Thailand and Saudi Arabia. They swept both Thailand and Saudi Arabia in straight sets, 3-0. In the round of 12, they faced Mongolia and won 3-0. And so it went. They bypassed the quarterfinals and went straight to the semifinals.

Their quarterfinal opponent was Bahrain. They were swept with a set score of 0-3. They lost the first set 33-35 after a sustained deuce and then dropped the second and third sets. They later won the best-of-three deciding match against Vietnam 3-1 to secure third place, but it was a bitter pill to swallow. Thailand, coached by Park Ki-won, who previously led the V-League’s LIG Insurance (now KB Insurance) and Korean Air, clinched the title and a spot in the FIVB Challenger Cup.

South Korea also competed in the Asian Championship last month. They were drawn in Group F with Pakistan and Bangladesh. They breezed through with a 3-0 win over Bangladesh and a 3-1 win over Pakistan. They advanced to the next stage with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Indonesia in the 1-12 match. In the 1st-6th place match, they were brought to their knees by China 1-3. In the 5th-6th place match against Chinese Taipei, they won 3-1 to finish 5th. It was a disappointing performance.

They needed to step up their game. Veteran setter Han was called up. Kim Myung-kwan (Hyundai Capital) had been selected for the AVC Challenge Cup and Hwang Seung-bin (KB Insurance) for the Asian Championship alongside Hwang Taek-ui. Head coach Lim Do-heon decided to entrust a key role to Han, who led Korean Air to three consecutive titles and a treble last season (KOVO Cup, regular league and championship).

Lim will be tested at the Asian Games. He will start playing before the official opening day of the tournament on the 23rd. Japan (5th), Iran (11th), Qatar (17th), and home favorite China (29th) are all in the mix. South Korea’s chances of winning a gold medal will be tough. If they finish first in Pool C, they will face the second-ranked team in Pool D at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 22. Group D includes Chinese Taipei (43rd), Pakistan (51st), and Mongolia (91st).온라인바카라

The winner of Group D’s second-place game will advance to the 1-6 matchup. Group F will play the winner of the Group 1 – Group 2 matchup. Group F includes Japan, Indonesia (57th), Philippines (63rd), and Afghanistan (68th), while Group A includes China, Kyrgyzstan (unranked), and Kazakhstan (59th). They will need a win against Japan to advance to the semifinals and possibly the final.

South Korean men’s volleyball has won three gold medals at the Asian Games. They won their first title in Bangkok in 1978, followed by back-to-back titles in Busan in 2002 and Doha in 2006. At the last edition, in Jakarta-Palembang 2018, they finished runner-up to Iran. All eyes will be on the results in Hangzhou.

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