Why did Korean Air dare to participate in the club championships during the break?

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Professional volleyball men’s Korean Air advanced to the quarterfinals at the 2023 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship, where top Asian clubs compete.

On the 16th (local time), Korean Air, led by head coach Tommy Tillikainen, scored 1 set against Indonesian League runner-up Jakarta Bayangkara Presisi in Group A’s 3rd match held at the ISA Sports City Stadium in Manama, Bahrain. We lost 3 (28-30, 17-25, 25-22, 21-25). Staying with 2 wins and 1 loss and 6 points, they lost first place in the group to Jakarta (7 points).

Korean Air, which had previously confirmed its advance to the quarterfinals with victories in the first and second games, suffered its first defeat in the tournament in the last game of the group stage. Korean Air, who advanced to the quarterfinals after finishing second in the group, will play the first match in group E of the quarterfinals against Japan’s Suntory Sunbirds on the 18th.

Korean Air is digesting this tournament, which began on the 14th in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. Since the launch of the V-League in 2005, it was the first men’s team to participate in this competition. After finishing the 2022-2023 season, he was able to take a break, but coach Tillikainen decided to participate in the competition to gain international competitiveness.

Among the players, there were메이저놀이터 also voices of concern that injuries could ruin the next season. However, coach Tillikainen tried to stimulate the idea that the team that achieved unified championships for three consecutive seasons could fall into arrogance. He convinced me that he wanted to show teams and players who play volleyball at a higher level outside the Korean stage.

Korean Air director Tommy Tilikhainen. Korea Volleyball Federation
Director Tillikainen’s plan worked. Korean Air players were inspired by meeting players who commanded the world stage, such as Dmitry Mushalski (Russia) and Saeed Marouf (Iran), as well as players whose physique and strength exceeded the level of the V-League at the dorm and stadium.

Coach Tillikainen’s plans for players’ growth do not end here. Coach Tilly Kainen is preparing a new impetus for his players ahead of next season.

It is a match against the Finnish national team, the home country of coach Tillikainen. The Finnish national team will set up a base camp in Korea for the 2024 Paris Olympic qualifiers to be held in Japan from late September to early October. Finland plans to prepare for the Olympic qualifiers through an evaluation match with Korean Air.

The warm-up match against Finland is expected to be a great stimulus for Korean Air players. South Korea’s men’s volleyball world ranking is 34th. As a result, Korea is unable to participate in the Olympic qualifiers where the top 24 countries participate.

For Korean Air players, clashing with Finnish players can be an opportunity to experience the world level. Furthermore, it is hoped that athletes will have the goal of experiencing the best stage of the Olympics.

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