Surabaya, Indonesia, August 1, 2017 – Korea proved too much for Indonesia as the former four-time Asian champions sent the host side packing in comfortable straight sets to finish third at the SMM 19th Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship at the Tri Dharma Petrokimia Gymnasium on Tuesday.
Korea, suffering the 3-2 upset loss to fast-improving Kazakhstan in the semi-finals the previous day, came up in full strength to mercilessly crush Indonesia 25-16 25-21 25-13 for the bronze medal, leaving the host team to finish the historic fourth place in 42 years at the biennial top-tier competition since its inception in 1975 in Melbourne, Australia.
Korea were strengthened by two cannons, Lee Kangwon and Park Joohyeong, while Rendy Febriant Tamamilang and Rivan Nurmulki spearheaded the host team.
The Koreans, who finished a disappointing 7th position at the previous Asian meet in Tehran, Iran two years ago, gained the upper hand early in the opening set with superb net play and impeccable defence. Lee Kangwon became a key weapon in assisting Korea to win the set 25-16.
Cheered on by a large crowd of home fans at the venue, Indonesia tried hard to match the mighty attacks of the strong visitors. Tamamilang’s deceptive attacks helped put the host side in front initially 11-9, but after that, Korea found their rhythm. With Lee Kangwon penetrating the rivals’ defence and Jin Sangheon and Shin Yungsuk made an excellent combination for effective blocking. Korea gradually pulled their game to win the thrilling set 25-21.
The third set turned out to be a completely one-sided affair when Korea were in awesome form to attack devastatingly from all angles to capture the easy set 25-13, match and the bronze medal.
Lee Kangwon led Korea with 14 points, 13 of them through his powerful attacks from 24 attempts. Shin Yungsuk contributed 13 points including 4 blocks and 3 aces, while Jin Sangheon added 4 kill blocks.
“Since this is the last match of our team, we gathered to support each other and performed very well. We lost to Kazakhstan in the semi-finals just because we underestimated the rivals. Earlier, we beat China and we were proud of the success. But against the host team, we played nervously and made a lot of mistakes. The third place we achieved is a good thing we can obtain here. It told us a lot of things, especially dedication of all my players. I really appreciated their hard work. After this, we will take some rest before resuming training in our preparation for the World Championship AVC Qualifier Pool A in Iran later this month,” Korea’s head coach Kim Hochul commented.
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