Head coach César Hernández González’s (Spain) women’s volleyball team failed to advance to the quarterfinals of the Asian Championships.
The team fell to Thailand in straight sets,토스카지노 0-3, in the first match of Group E of the quarterfinal round on Wednesday in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. In the next match, Vietnam swept Australia, dropping the Korean team to the 5-8th place match. The team had earlier qualified for the quarterfinals with a second-place finish (2-1) in Pool C, but with one loss each alongside Australia. Vietnam, who defeated Korea in the preliminary round, and Group A leader Thailand entered the quarterfinals with one win apiece, but added one more on the day to finish among the top two teams in Group E and secure a spot in the quarterfinals.
This is the first time in history that Korea Women’s Volleyball has failed to reach the quarterfinals of an Asian Championship. Since its inaugural edition in 1975, the team has never failed to reach the quarterfinals except in 2021, when it missed out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When Gonzalez brought his players to the Jincheon Athletes’ Village to prepare for the tournament, he declared, “The goal we set in a team meeting was to reach the quarterfinals.” With seven runner-up finishes and 10 third-place finishes under their belt, it wasn’t much of an upward adjustment, but they failed to reach their goal.
Restoration of honor is even more elusive. Since Gonzalez took over, the team has gone winless in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) for two consecutive years. As key players such as Kim Yeon-kyung, Kim Soo-ji (Heungkuk Life) and Yang Hyo-jin (Hyundai E&C), who led the team to the quarterfinals of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, returned their tricolor one by one, the team began to falter and was no longer a part of the “Asia’s Top 4”. The FIVB ranking also dropped to 37th (as of the 3rd).
The 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games are now out of reach. Since the 1962 Jakarta Games, when women’s volleyball became an official part of the Asian Games, South Korea has never missed out on a medal except for the 2006 Doha Games, but this time it is no longer confident of a medal. Korean women’s volleyball is stuck in a long tunnel.