23. 05. 2012 | Tokyo, Japan
FIVB W: Superstar Kim Yeon-Koung sensational in Korea win over Japan
Korea downed Japan in four action-packed sets (25-18, 22-25, 25-17, 25-13) on the fourth day of action in the FIVB Women's World Olympic Qualifying Tournament at Tokyo Metropolitan Gym on Wednesday.
Superstar Kim Yeon-Koung put on an amazing show for the second straight day, only this time her side emerged victorioius.The win improved Korea to 2-2, while the loss saw Japan go to 3-1.
One day after scoring 30 points in a loss to Serbia, Kim was absolutely spectacular again. She showed both power and finesse as she led her side to the victory over their archrival in front of a raucous partisan crowd.
Kim, who racked up a tournament high 34 points, was more animated than usual in the regional battle, gesturing several times after scoring key points in the match. Kim Hee-Jin and Han Song-Yi each contributed 13 points in the win.
Saori Kimura starred for Japan with 21 points. Yukiko Ebata and Mai Yamaguchi added 11 and 10 points respectively.
Japan simply had no answer for the juggernaut Kim who was on this night.
Jung Dae-Young serve sailed log and Japan grabbed a 5-4 lead in the first set. Korea took a timeout with Japan ahead 6-4. Hwang Youn-Joo sailed a spike long and Japan went in to the first TTO with an 8-5 lead. A sublime dink by Kimura after a long rally put Japan up 10-7. Han Song-Yi's spike pulled Korea within a point at 10-9 and then Kim Yeon-Koung equalized 10-10 with a spike down the middle. Kimura soared to blast a spike and Japan pulled in front 14-12. Kim Yeon-Koung immediately replied with a smash of her own. Kim Sa-Nee gave Korea 16-14 lead at the second TTO with a spike that went off the face of Mai Yamaguchi. A spike by Han Song-Yi' made it 20-17 for Korea and Japan called a timeout. Kim Yeon-Koung crushed another spike for 21-17 and Japan took a second straight timeout. Kim Hee-Jin that sent in a service ace for 22-17 as Korea closed in on the set. A reception error off a vicious serve from Kim Hee-Jin gave Korea set point at 24-18 and they claimed it 25-18 on a spike by Jung.
Kimura's spike gave Japan a 5-3 lead in the second set. Kimura scored on a controversial spike to put Japan up 6-5 before Kim Yeon-Koung answered back with one of her own to level at 6-6. Another Kim Yeon-Koung spike made it 8-7 for Korea at the first TTO. Kim Hee-Jin's spike took it to 10-9 for Korea. A Kimura spike gave Japan a 12-10 lead. Kim Sa-Nee sent a serve long and the score was knotted 15-15. A block by Yang gave Korea 16-15 edge at the second TTO. Yukiko Ebata's spike put Japan back in front at 18-17 and Korea took a timeout. Kimura dug out a huge spike from Kim Yeon-Koung, which Japan set back across only for Kim to blister another spike for a 20-19 lead. Japan retook the lead 21-20 on a nice push return by Kimura. Yamaguchi blocked a smash by Kim Yeon-Koung and Japan was two points from the set at 23-21. Korea misplayed a reception and Japan had set point at 24-22. Japan took the set 25-22 when Nana Iwasaka blocked a Kim Yeon-Koung spike.
Korea took a 5-3 lead in the third set when Japan misplayed a return. Kim Yeon-Koung's spike put Korea on top 7-6 and a block by Yang on a Kimura spike gave Korea an 8-6 edge at the first TTO. Araki fired a spike long to give Korea a 10-6 lead and Japan took a timeout. Han Song-Yi made it 12-8 with a spike. Korea boosted its lead to 15-9 on a block and cleary had seized the momentum. Kimura served into the net and Korea led 16-10 at the second TTO. Kim Yeon-Koung spiked to make it 18-13. A service ace by Ebata moved Japan within three at 18-15 and Korea called time. Kim Yeon-Koung placed a perfect dink and Korea led 20-15. A block by Han took the count to 23-16 as Korea closed in on the set. Korea claimed the set 25-17 when Ebata fired a spike long.
Ebata missed a spike and Korea moved out to a 5-2 lead in the fourth set. Three straight spikes by Kim Yeon-Koung put Korea up by five at 8-3 at the first TTO. Ebata sent a spike into the net to put Korea up by nine at 12-3 and Japan took time to try and stop the onslaught. A Kim Yeon-Koung block made it 15-5 and gave her 30 points in the contest. Korea was up by 11 at 16-5 at the second TTO. A spike by Kim Hee-Jin made it 22-10 and the outcome was all but certain. Korea moved to match point on a block at 24-11 and took the match 25-13 on a spike by Han Song-Yi.