Korea Women’s volleyball captain Kim praised
“We’ve said this over and over again. Kim Yeon-koung is a one-in-a-billion player.”
FIVB, volleyball’s world governing body, on Aug. 4 lauded Kim, captain of the national women’s volleyball team, through its social media for leading Korea to a semifinal berth in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Fans worldwide shared the post and hailed her as “irreplaceable” and “a living legend.”
After Korea beat Japan on July 31, FIVB praised Kim with a post urging her to play in one more Olympics. Korea also beat on July 29 Dominican Republic, with the federation saying she again proved why she is one of the world’s best.
Turkey’s coach and players expressed disappointment over losing to Korea in the quarterfinals, but also praised the abilities of Kim and her team.
Turkey coach Giovanni Guidetti on Aug. 4 told the Turkish media Sabah Spor that Korea shows more than expected, adding that the team overcame the pressure of a tight match and that Turkey must learn how to perform like Korea.
Turkish captain Eda Erdem Dundar, Kim’s former teammate at Fenerbahce of the Turkish Women’s Volleyball League, congratulated Korea’s semifinal berth.
Korea on Aug. 4 beat world No. 4 Turkey, 3-2, after an intense quarterfinal at Ariake Arena in Tokyo. Kim scored a match-high 28 points. With Korea leading 14-13 in the fifth and deciding set, Kim scored on a powerful spike to secure the win.
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The captain announced that she will retire after the Tokyo Games. Korea thus united as “one team” to make its first semifinal appearance since the 2012 London Olympics.
Korea on Aug. 6 faces world No. 2 Brazil at 9 p.m. for a ticket to the final.
Koreans have also expressed sympathy to Turkey in the wake of a massive wildfire on July 28 that engulfed the Turkish city of Bodrum and has lasted for several days. The Korean public expressed regret over the disaster toward its “brother country” and wished for a rapid recovery.
Koreans have participated in the hashtag campaign #PrayForTurkey, with some donating seedlings in Kim’s name to Turkey and posting photos on social media.