Volleyball news good and bad features high in annual South Korean sports reporting rankings
SEOUL, 23 Dec. (Yonhap) – No South Korean sport has experienced the kind of roller coaster volleyball has experienced in 2021. The sport’s highs and lows have dominated the news cycle as well as the annual rankings of the sport. Top 10 sports reports published Thursday by the Yonhap news agency.
A series of off-court scandals in sports ranked No.1 in Yonhap’s survey of 51 South Korean newspapers and broadcasters, with 315 points.
A vote for first place was worth 10 points, a vote for second place was worth nine points, and so on. The history of volleyball received 11 votes for the first place.
In February, allegations of bullying surfaced against the popular Heungkuk Life Pink Spiders twin sisters in the Women’s V-League, Lee Jae-yeong and Lee Da-yeong. Their former elementary and middle school teammates accused them of physical and verbal abuse, which led to the Lees being suspended. The sisters moved to the Greek league.
In September, ahead of the start of the 2021-2022 season, Korean Air Jumbos’ Jung Ji-seok, the reigning men’s league MVP, was investigated by police for allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend. . Jung came to an agreement with the woman, who agreed to drop his charges, and Jung returned to action on December 4, much to the chagrin of volleyball fans.
Barely two months later, another scandal broke out on the women’s side. IBK Altos captain Cho Song-hwa left the team in the middle of the season, apparently unhappy with head coach Seo Nam-won. Seo’s best assistant, Kim Sanee, also became AWOL, although she joined the team later.
IBK’s front office somehow fired Seo and made Kim the interim head coach. Under increasing pressure from across the league, Kim resigned after just three games.
The team ultimately terminated Cho’s contract and made him a free agent. She apologized to her teammates, team officials and fans. But the saga is far from over, with Cho having threatened legal action against the team.
A much more festive story happened at # 2.
It was a banner year for South Korean archery, as the country won four of the five gold medals to be won at the Tokyo Olympics. An San won three gold medals – the first-ever Olympic gold medal awarded in the mixed team event, plus the women’s team and the women’s individual titles. The 20-year-old became South Korea’s first three-time gold medalist at the Summer Olympics.
Also at the Tokyo Olympics, the South Korean women’s volleyball team had a memorable run to the semi-finals, a feat that placed No.3 on that year-end list.
Led by captain Kim Yeon-koung, South Korea passed host Japan for a five-set thriller in the preliminary round to secure a knockout berth. South Korea, 13th, then surprised Turkey, world number 4, in the quarter-finals. Although South Korea lost in the semi-finals and then in the bronze medal game, the pesky and resilient team won the hearts of many fans at home.
Elsewhere at the Olympics, the teens became an instant celebrity for South Korea, and their fearless performances ranked No.4.
Two stood out in particular: 17-year-old archer Kim Je-deok won gold medals in the men’s team and mixed team events, while 18-year-old freestyle swimmer Hwang Sun-woo has established itself as the next big thing. and did everything but win a medal.
In the 100m freestyle, Hwang set an Asian record with 47.56 seconds in the semi-final and was fifth in the final. He was the first Asian swimmer in 65 years to reach an Olympic final in the 100m freestyle.
Earlier in the 200m freestyle, Hwang set a South Korean record with 1: 44.62 in the heats. He was on a world record pace halfway through the final and was in the lead with 50m to go before finishing in seventh place.
Tied for fourth place on the news list is the first-ever KT Wiz Korean Series Championship within the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO). The Wiz, who joined the league as an expansion team in 2015, first reached the playoffs in 2020, then peaked this year by winning their first title with a four-game sweep against the Doosan Bears.
The KBO as a whole, however, had a season they’d rather forget. Problems off the field for players and the disappointing performance of the national team at the Tokyo Olympics placed sixth on the Top 10 list.
Four NC Dinos veterans have each received a 72-game suspension from the league for violating COVID-19 protocols. They held a drinking party with six people in a hotel room in Seoul on a road trip in July, when social gatherings in the capital were limited to four people. The Kiwoom Heroes and Hanwha Eagles players have also served internal bans for similar offenses.
Weeks after the incidents, the national baseball team, made up entirely of KBO players, finished fourth out of six countries at the Tokyo Olympics with a 3-4 record.
This only added insult to injury for the KBO. The pandemic has kept fans out of stadiums for most of the season, and fans disappointed with a series of off-field issues have stopped connecting to games.
Football fans, on the other hand, had much more to celebrate in 2021. South Korean Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min set new career highs with 17 Premier League goals and 22 goals in all competitions during the 2020-2021 season. – an achievement that ranked seventh on the top 10 list.
As they prepared for the Beijing Winter Olympics, the national short track speed skating team received an unexpected blow in October. Through leaked text messages, two-time Olympic gold medalist Shim Suk-hee was accused of rigging the race and also came under fire for bashing teammates and coaches with profanity during the Olympic Games in PyeongChang winter 2018. This piece of controversy was eighth on the news list.
Shim, suspected of fending off teammate Choi Min-jeong in the women’s 1,000m final at PyeongChang 2018, was dropped on the charges. However, Shim was still granted a two-month suspension on Tuesday for denigrating the rest of the 2018 Olympic team. The ruling will exclude her from Beijing unless she can get a reduction via a court injunction or appeal to of the Korean Olympic and Sports Committee.
In one of the few wellness stories on this list, LPGA Tour star Ko Jin-young ranked at No.9 after writing a memorable season.
She won five tournaments on her way to the Player of the Year award for the second time in three seasons. Ko also became the first South Korean to win three straight LPGA silver titles.
Four of Ko’s five wins came after the Tokyo Olympics, where she tied for ninth place despite being called a gold medal contender. Ko used the missed opportunity as fuel for his charge in the second half.
Ko’s disappointing performance in Tokyo was one of many for South Korea at the Olympics, which topped the top 10 on the news list.
South Korea finished 16th in the medal table with six gold, four silver and 10 bronze. South Korea had been in the top 10 in the medal race at each of the previous four Summer Games. The total of 20 medals was South Korea’s weakest production since winning 19 medals at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.