The Korean Sport & Olympic Committee announced on Wednesday that the 33-year-old volleyball superstar Kim Yeon Koung and swimmer Hwang Sun-woo will be the country's flag bearers at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony on July 23.
Kim to lead Korea at Tokyo Opening Ceremony
Korean squad for Tokyo 2020 confirmed
Published 03:07, 09 Jul 2021
"We know a lot of people are behind us athletes, and we'll try to respond to their support," Kim said. "A lot of people have been experiencing challenging times during the pandemic. Hopefully, we'll be able to give them something to cheer about.
The Games in Tokyo will be Kim's third and likely her final Olympics, after representing Korea for the first time at London 2012, where her team missed making the podium following their loss to Asian rivals Japan in the bronze medal match. Kim headed the team as captain and helped her team reach the quarterfinals and finish fifth overall at Rio 2016.
Kim Yeon Koung will once again skipper the Korean squad in Tokyo. The Korean volleyball icon and Italian mentor Stefano Lavarini are hoping to clinch Korea's first Olympic medal since the bronze medal finish at Montreal 1976.
Lavarini’s squad is comprised of players from his 2021 FIVB Volleyball Nations League roster, as well as a few players who have been in intensive training since April.
Kim Yeon Koung leads other outside hitters Pyo Seungju, Lee Soyoung and Park Jeongah. Yeum Hye Seon and Ahn Hyejin are the playmakers, while Oh Jiyoung is the designated libero.
Veteran players Kim Heejin and Kim Suji are back and will reinforce Lavarini’s Olympic line-up after not seeing action at the VNL. Heejin will take the lead as opposite with Jeong Jiyun, while Suji will be in charge of the middle, alongside Yang Hyo Jin and Park Eunjin.
“The training in Hadong-gun was an important time for selecting the athletes that will represent Korea at the Olympics,” Lavarini said.
“Regardless of player selection, I would like to express my gratitude to all the players who joined the national team and devoted themselves to training. All the athletes will do their best until the end and prepare well for the Tokyo Olympics.”
After completing their training sessions in Hadong-gun, the Korean team moved to the Jincheon Athletes’ Village on Tuesday to continue with their preparations for the Olympic Games. They will leave for Tokyo on July 20.
Korea's Olympic Roster
· Setters – Yeum Hye Seon, Ahn Hyejin
· Opposites – Kim Heejin, Jeong Jiyun
· Outside Hitters – Kim Yeon-Koung, Pyo Seungju, Lee Soyoung, Park Jeongah
· Middle Blockers – Kim Suji, Yang Hyo Jin, Park Eunjin
· Libero – Oh Jiyoung