Indian men’s volleyball team loses to South Korea, bows out of the 2020 Olympic qualifiers in China
The Indian men’s volleyball team is out of the race to make it to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo after their second loss at the Men's Continental Tokyo Volleyball Qualification event — the 2020 Olympic qualifier — in Jiangmen, China on Wednesday.
A day after they failed to match up to Qatar’s force, the Indian spikers once again fell short, this time against South Korea as they lost the match 0-3 (19-25, 20-25, 23-25).
The loss means India is out of contention for a place in the semi-finals and will play Australia on Thursday with nothing more than pride at stake.
Having watched the Indians in action a day before, the Koreans were quick to hit their opponents where it hurt the most. With Jung Jiseok, Shin Yung-Suk and Heo Subong in their roster, there was no dearth of quality as the three quickly took the game away from the opposition.
Jiseok was the most impressive, the 24-year-old led the charge with 10 points in attack while Yung-Suk and Subong contributed with eight each. Another impressive factor of the Korean game was their serve, their deep and powerful hits saw them garner sevens points in all.
For the Indians, it was GS Akhin’s all-round performance that stood out. The Kerala blocker was in top form as he did his best to hold fort and finished the match with a total of 10 points (six in the attack and four from his blocks).
Amit, meanwhile, was the finest of the attackers as he managed to find openings and punish the Koreans with his strong spikes to amass 13 points.
The Indians will line up against Australia on Thursday in their final group game, hoping to improve on their performances so far at the Jiangmen event.
While Qatar, with two wins, is through to the last four, the Aussies are on a tricky wicket - they will have to beat India and then hope that Korea loses to Qatar, if they are to make it through.