The South Korean women’s volleyball team finished in sixth place, its lowest finish ever at the Asian Championships, after being swept by Kazakhstan.
Led by head coach Cesar Hernández González, the Korean team (ranked 29th in the world) lost to Kazakhstan (ranked 39th) in straight sets 0-3 (24-26 23-25 23-25) in the fifth place match of the 2023 Asian Volleyball Championship at the MCC Hall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand on Saturday.
At the tournament, Korea struggled to finish second in Group C after being swept by Vietnam (40th) in the preliminary round and fell to Thailand (14th) in the quarterfinals.
They beat India to advance to the fifth place match, but lost their final game to finish sixth.
South Korea has reached the quarterfinals 20 times since its first appearance at the Asian Championships in 1975. While they have never won the title, they have defended their pride with seven runner-up finishes, 10 third-place finishes and three fourth-place finishes.
This time, however, they only managed to finish sixth, a harsh reminder that even the Asian quarters are not a sure thing.
The Korean women’s team will return home on July 7 to recuperate before traveling to Poland for the Paris 2024 Olympic Qualification (July 16-24).
In Group C, Korea will face the United States (2nd), Italy (6th), Poland (7th), Germany (13th), Thailand, Colombia (20th), and Slovenia (25th). A top-two finish in Group C will qualify them for Paris, but realistically, they can’t count on even one win.
After the women’s team finishes qualifying for Paris, they will travel to China to prepare for the Hangzhou Asian Games.
Host Thailand defeated China 3-2 (25-20 25-27 25-19 20-25 16-14) in straight sets in the final to regain the top spot after a 10-year hiatus since 2013. 토토