Men’s soccer, volleyball ‘go first’ for medals

We’re just five days away from the start of the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Men’s soccer, volleyball, and more begin their quest for medals tomorrow.

Reporter Lee Kyung-jae reports.

[Reporter]
Hwang Sun-hong, the first Korean athlete in the hunt for a third consecutive gold medal, takes the first step for his team.

The 23 nations are divided into six groups, and our team will face Kuwait, Thailand, and Bahrain.

While we’re expecting to breeze through the qualifiers, the first round of a big tournament is always tough for any team, having been stunned by Malaysia in their first match five years ago.

With Lee Kang-in, a key member of the squad, not expected to join the team until the night of the 21st, Hwang Sun-hong will likely only be at full strength against Bahrain at the earliest.

[Hwang Sun-hong / Olympic Football Team Head Coach: I think we need to look at the stamina to play all 90 minutes and other things to decide the position].

The team’s tournament schedule is also challenging.

In the round of 16, the team will likely face Japan or Qatar, who will be coming up from Group D. In the quarterfinals, they will likely face the home team, China.

The men’s volleyball team, led by head coach Lim Do-heon, also packed up early last weekend to get ready for action starting on Wednesday.

Given their recent slump, which saw them finish fifth at the Asian Championships 메이저놀이터 and third at the Asia Challenge Cup, which omitted Japan and China, it will be hard for them to relax from their first match of the tournament against India.

However, with veteran setter Han receiving an emergency blood transfusion and the likes of Japan, Iran and Qatar – all ranked ahead of us in the world – unable to give 100% due to the upcoming Paris Olympic qualifiers, the team is pinning its hopes on a 15th consecutive medal since Bangkok in ’66.