The ’10-year roommate’ and ‘the successor’ were happy as the ‘Volleyball Empress’ last Olympics together.
Korean women’s volleyball gave me more than just winning a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Defeating the negative view that “passing the preliminary round will not be easy”, he advanced to the quarterfinals beyond the quarterfinals. He received high interest and enthusiastic support for his uncompromising fighting spirit and strong mental power. After the Olympics, he became a regular customer of TV entertainment programs.
For Hyundai E&C Yang Hyo-jin (32) and Jeong Ji-yoon (20), the Olympic Games were a meaningful stage that they will never forget for the rest of their lives. Hyo-jin Yang, the ‘best center in the V-League’, was the last Olympic Games in Tokyo. Conversely, for the youngest member of the national team, Jung Ji-yoon, this is the first Olympics in her life.
Yang Hyo-jin said, “I saw that passing the preliminary round would not be easy, but I think I squeezed my strength until the very end. I have no regrets at all because I went crazy.” He laughed. Jung Ji-yoon said, “Didn’t the older sisters (Kim Yeon-kyung, Kim Su-ji, Yang Hyo-jin) retire from this tournament for the last time? I was blessed to be able to spend the last time with the older sisters.”
Before the opening of the V-League on October 16, Yang Hyo-jin and Jung Ji-yoon met together. Memories of the hot Tokyo last summer came to mind once again.
– It’s been on TV a lot these days.
Yang Hyo-jin (Lee Sang-yang)“I filmed it while I was on break. It was fun. There were a lot of things to say about appearing with my colleagues rather than alone. In the past, only volleyball fans recognized me, but these days, a lot of young friends recognize me.”
Jung Ji-yoon (Lee Sang-jung)=” (Watching the radio star) I was embarrassed to show my appearance on variety shows, so I ‘kicked the blanket’. Friends who I had not interacted with for a while from elementary school to high school also contacted me. People walking down the street and asking, ‘Are you a volleyball player?’ have.”
-It was the last and the first Olympics respectively. How did you feel?
sheep“The national team started when I went to the Beijing Olympic qualifiers in 2008, the first season I joined. At that time, my sisters suffered injuries and failed to advance to the finals. Nevertheless, I was very fortunate to have stepped on the Olympic stage three times. The first time I went out in 2012 The London Olympics was just as exciting. This time I went out with a foreign coach (Stefano Lavarini) and it was different. It seems that Korean volleyball has taken on a new challenge, and it leaves a lasting impression.”
affection“I felt the weight and responsibility of the national team. I was the only one of my age to work with my older sisters (Kim Yeon-kyung, Kim Su-ji, Yang Hyo-jin) on the national team, and I was very impressed.”
– After the Japan match, Turkey match, and Serbia match, the feeling seems to have been different.
sheep=”After the semi-final against Serbia, tears continued to flow, too. From the first season of my professional career to my 14th year as a professional, I remembered all the hard and good lives of the national team. I felt it. I craved so much for improving my skills. The national team has a variety of experiences that my team cannot experience. I even held international competitions abroad for a month. It’s a good memory now, but it was really hard at the time.”
affection= “A-day is the team atmosphere was different from the day before. Should I say serious, ‘unconditionally win” is that was comfortably Sara fun in the atmosphere. The concentration awful was. In the quarterfinals, when I met the Turkish watch it, but Turkey is a strong team I thought, ‘When will I be able to advance to the semifinals again?'”
sheep=”I prepared for the Tokyo Olympics for several years. I traveled to Russia and Thailand to get tickets. We talked between the players, ‘Let’s bet everything on Japan.’ Even though Japan (July 31) was the home team, there was no feeling that it was going to lose. It was not pride but the will to ‘must win.’ After advancing to the quarterfinals, I personally played regardless of win or loss. Couldn’t we have played like this?’ This is because the regretful memory of ‘If I had scored in that situation the team would have won?’ has lasted for 4 years. This time, I have no regrets. Wasn’t it the last member as a member? I saw a lot that it would not be easy to pass the preliminaries, but until the end, it seems that I was able to squeeze my strength through fighting spirit. I have no regrets at all.”
– Do you really want to retire from the national team?
sheep=” I’ve been talking with my sisters for a few years that I should retire from the national team after the Tokyo Olympics. I didn’t tell the outsiders. Actually, I could go to the Asian Games next year, but wouldn’t it be better to look at the Olympics three years later. Another team If you look at , the team composition is renewed starting from 4 years. It is impossible to guarantee participation in the Paris Olympics in 2024. There are physical conditions or personal variables. Sudden power leakage should not occur. There are many young players with good skills, and there are enough I think he’ll do well.”
– Coach Lavarini said he was very nagging and trained a lot.
affection“The coach prepared meticulously. In Korea, the result is important, but coach Lavarini saw the process as important. I was very scolded. I avoided my eyes for a while because I was afraid of the coach. But I learned a lot through the Olympics. “
sheep=”I got an answer from coach Lavarini where I thought ‘no way’ when matching the timing of blocking, etc. I tried a lot of changes that were different from the existing system, but in the end it led to results.”
Yang Hyo-jin and Ji-yoon Jung have a special relationship with Kim Yeon-kyung (33). Yang Hyo-jin served as Kim Yeon-kyung’s roommate in the national team for nearly 10 years. It was none other than Kim Yeon-kyung who received the bouquet at Yang Hyo-jin’s wedding in April. Recently, they have appeared on several TV programs together, showing off their friendship. Jung Ji-yoon is ‘Kim Yeon-kyung Kids’. In 2011, while attending Sujeong Elementary School in Busan, he was selected as one of the ‘Ilju-Kim Yeon-kyung Volleyball Dream Tree Scholarship’. At the time, he was the youngest beneficiary of the scholarship as an elementary school student.
– When I was in school, I was selected as a Kim Yeon-kyung scholarship student.
affection=”I am very grateful. I couldn’t say ‘thank you’ directly, but it felt good just to receive a scholarship at that time. I also gained pride. As it is then and now, Yeon-kyung unnie is a role model for youth. I work hard too. So, my will to become a player like Yeon-kyung’s sister became stronger.”
– How was it while you and Kim Yeon-kyung were roommates for the national team for 10 years?
sheep“He took good care of me. I’ve been watching volleyball videos like that since I was a kid. I felt that world-class players were different. I also worked harder and got inspiration while sharing a room.”
-As it was in this Olympics, Kim Yeon-kyung orders a lot of things on the court and inspires them.
sheep“It’s a great existence just being on the court. Her leadership is really good. I think she fits in all the parts she does. I learn a lot by seeing and telling you everything that we didn’t even think of.”
affection=”That’s right. I only say things that are true. Rather than being scared or nagging, I wanted to be more alert.”
Kim Yeon-kyung suggested a change of position for Ji-yoon Ji to Hyundai E&C manager Kang Sung-seong. This is because Jung Ji-yoon, who has mainly played as center and right, thought that if he played on the same left as him, he would have more potential. Kim Yeon-kyung said, “Lavarini coach also said that he wants to see the future (of Korean volleyball and players) by putting Jung Ji-yoon on the left. In fact, he was considered his successor.
Jung Ji-yoon turned to the left in earnest at the KOVO Cup held right after the Olympics and even won the tournament MVP. 27 out of 31 votes cast by the press group. He announced a fresh start in a new position.
-Kim Yeon-kyung recommended a shift to the left.
affection=”The national team also told me that. (Pay attention) Thank you. Yeonkyung unnie told me how to hit in front of high blocking. She also told me about bad habits. I really have to do better as my position has changed. I also read an article where my sister said that she wanted to establish herself as a left. So I feel more responsible. If I do poorly on the left, it hurts me, but I want to work harder because I think it will be bad for my sister. I am worried about whether I will be able to receive and defend well. It won’t happen. I think I’ll have to cry a lot.”
sheep“To be honest, it would be difficult and uncomfortable to go back and forth between various positions. But there is a lot of potential. I have good physical condition and talent, so I think I will do my job quietly.”
– What is Kim Yeon-kyung to Yang Hyo-jin?
sheep= “He is like a huge pillar to everyone. Isn’t it a player who changed a page in the history of Korean women’s volleyball? He has always said that he should change Korean volleyball from a young age. I think it’s because of my sister’s personality, I have to change and correct things that are bad. As I thought, the surrounding environment gradually improved and changed, so I could get better grades and get the current level of interest.”
-Kim Yeon-kyung said, “I used a room for 10 years and made (Yang) Hyo-jin a salary queen.”
sheep=”It’s not very wrong. The situation fits well. I also had a great passion and longing for volleyball at that time. It was like a dream and fun to exercise and share a room with a world-class player in such a situation. I read a lot of autobiography of .Even though my body condition was different, the mind was the same. My sister was the same. Thanks to her, I was able to follow the training diligently and my motivation increased. It was a great help to be able to play on the court at the same time. In the national team with my sister Every hour of our time was special.”
– Is there anything you would like to say to Kim Yeon-kyung, who is leaving the national team?
sheep=” I think my sister took off the national team uniform at the right time. I won a bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang. She won gold (Incheon 2014), silver (Guangzhou 2010), and bronze at the Asian Games one by one. I cried a little after winning a medal in Jakarta, probably because I thought it was a game. It hurts my heart to see my sister cry, and it makes my heart ache. It is because I have been watching since I was young and trying to change the poor environment of volleyball. “I get fed up while doing this. The higher I am, the more weight I feel. I wonder if I could have done it like my sister. Thank you always. I don’t think I will ever forget it.”
– What if I was an older sister than Kim Yeon-kyung?
affection“I think I played a lot of pranks. My older sister likes to play pranks, but even when I’m young, she accepts them well.” (Jung Ji-yoon appeared on variety shows with seniors including Kim Yeon-kyung and showed off her bold words.)
sheep“Even if I was a senior, I think I would have lived a life of captivity. I have a big personality and strong spirit. But it’s simple. If you keep the manners and don’t deviate from the basic framework that people have to follow, they take great care of you.”
-Hyundai E&C, which finished last season last season, won the KOVO Cup. New season goals.
affection“I want to show that I am adapting well to a new position. I want to achieve high scores.”
sheep“I want the team to get better as they get older. I think the harmony between the old and the new and the team balance seems to match well.
Yongin = Reporter Lee Hyung-seok