The power of superstar Kim Yeon-kyung, who filled the volleyball court with clouds
The ripple effect that occurred after Korean volleyball star Kim Yeon-kyung (35, Heungkuk Life Insurance) returned to the V-League is significant. Not only did tension arise in the women’s division, which was dominated by Hyundai E&C, but the interest of fans also increased noticeably. Fans are gathering in front of the TV or looking for stadiums to watch the ‘Volleyball Empress’, which flew on overseas stages such as Japan, Turkey, and China, and led the popularity of Korean volleyball in international competitions such as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. One of the records achieved in the first half of the ‘Dodram 2022-2023 V-League’ also proves Kim Yeon-kyung’s tremendous influence. The game that recorded the highest viewership rating for the women’s division during this period was the Hyundai E&C-KGC Ginseng Corporation match held at Chungmu Gymnasium in Daejeon on December 25 last year (1.61%), but in the top 5, Heungkuk Life’s game or 3 games rose. The V-League and Heungkuk Life Insurance have also suffered considerable trials due to the novel coronavirus infection (Corona 19) pandemic, but it is clear that they are looking at the possibility of recovering popularity with a superstar named Kim Yeon-kyung at the fore.
●Pink wave leading the V-League box
office Heungkuk Life Insurance filled 5,800 seats at Samsan World Gymnasium in Incheon on November 13 last year during a home game against Korea Expressway Corporation. In the V-League, 5,000 spectators disappeared for a while. It was the first time in four years that more than 5,000 spectators entered the women’s game on December 25, 2018, after the IBK Industrial Bank-Highway Corporation match (5108 people). If you extend the scope to the men’s division, it was the first time since the Hyundai Capital-Korean Air Match (5043 people) on January 10, 2019.
The game on this day was the first home game of the 2022-2023 season for Heungkuk Life Insurance, but the players of Heungkuk Life Insurance had already experienced the heat of selling out once. The popularity of Kim Yeon-kyung and Heungkuk Life Insurance this season did not cover the day and place. In the away game against GS Caltex, which took place three days before the road construction and home game, all 3,325 seats at the Jangchung Gymnasium were sold out, even though it was a weekday. Wherever Heungkuk Life Insurance went, cloud spectators flocked to it. Fans holding pink cheering clappers formed a wave in the stands. Volleyball officials evaluated this as the ‘Kim Yeon-kyung effect’. Volleyball fans are shaking off the disappointment of not being able to ‘intuitively’ to their heart’s content in the aftermath of Corona 19 in the 2020-2021 season, when Kim Yeon-kyung briefly returned and played.
●For the first time in my life, I became a ‘star among stars’!
Coincidentally, the All-Star game was also held at Samsan World Gymnasium at the end of last month. Kim Yeon-kyung even swept the All-Star Game. For Kim Yeon-kyung, it was the first All-Star game in 14 years since the 2008-2009 season. In the 2020-2021 season, even after winning the most votes with 82,115 votes in the All-Star fan vote, the tournament was canceled in the aftermath of Corona 19, so I had to swallow regret. It was the same for the fans. Fans made Kim Yeon-kyung her top voter with 82,297 votes, more than her two years ago. Even at the ‘Pre-All Star Game’ held the day before this year’s All-Star Game, not only did 2,400 fans visit the stadium, but a sold-out case was recorded from online sales (6,338 seats) of the All-Star Game, and on the day of the game, 6,446 full spectators visited Samsan World Gymnasium. filled up
Kim Yeon-kyung thoroughly enjoyed this stage. On this day, she scored 5 points (37.50% attack success rate), the most M-star record, and she was also selected as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the All-Star Game. She is Kim Yeon-kyung, who has won various awards as well as regular league rookie and MVP awards, but only won her first All-Star Game MVP in her 18th year as a professional. Kim Yeon-kyung said, “It’s been 14 years since the All-Star Game has been played, and I can feel that I’m getting older,” but she said, “Actually, I thought she might win first place even before the vote. She is grateful and meaningful,” she said, expressing her gratitude to her fans for their support.
●Still? Still top-notch skills!
Kim Yeon-kyung’s name is seen quite a bit in the women’s individual rankings. Kim Yeon-kyung is leaving a sad record if second in the overall attack index, including her time difference attack. She is dedicated in defense as well as attack. This season she has a receiving efficiency in the high 40% range and close to 4 digs per set.
Heungkuk Life Insurance’s coaching staff and colleagues, including former coach Kwon Soon-chan and acting manager Kim Dae-kyung, agree that it is thanks to Kim Yeon-kyung’s outstanding performance in the air and defense that Heungkuk Life Insurance, which finished in 6th place last season, can compete for the lead this season. Heungkuk Life Insurance juniors are also actively using the know-how Kim Yeon-kyung taught them to improve his skills온라인바카라. Middle blocker (center) Kim Na-hee said, “Thanks to (Kim) Yeon-kyung’s unnie paying close attention to the timing of blocking during the game, I was able to immediately block the opponent’s attack.”
Even for the opposing coaches, Kim Yeon-kyung is a very burdensome existence. Quite a few coaches shake their heads when 192cm Kim Yeon-kyung and 196cm Yelena form an offensive combination. Even Hyundai Engineering & Construction coach Kang Seong-hyung, who is considered to have the highest height in the women’s division, said, “The combination of Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena is burdensome.” GS Caltex coach Sang-Hyun Cha said, “When Yeon-Kyung Kim and Yelena are in front, there are times when setter Hye-Jin Ahn feels burdened about how to develop an attack.”
●The driving force that united the players despite a draft
Kim Yeon-kyung chose to return to Heungkuk Life Insurance, looking only at winning. However, Heungkuk Life Insurance suddenly decided to dismiss former manager Kwon Soon-chan in early January, saying, “The direction we wanted to go was different.” Since then, Heungkuk Life Insurance, which has suffered a head coaching crisis, is playing the rest of the season as acting coach Dae-gyeong Kim, and veterans such as Acting Kim, Yeon-kyung Kim, and Hae-ran Kim have taken the lead in rectifying the atmosphere.
After going through a period of hardship, Heungkuk Life Insurance began to be evaluated as a team that could compete for the championship again. Acting Kim said, “Thanks to veteran players including Yeon-kyung.” Kim Yeon-kyung said, “The process of getting here was never easy. There were many difficulties, but there are still many shortcomings. I continued to practice during the All-Star break, and I have to keep thinking about what I lack in the future.”