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Women’s team topples New Zealand 3-0 in Asian regional

The Korean women’s volleyball team started the Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship with a 3-0 sweep against New Zealand at the Alonte Sports Arena in the Philippines on Wednesday.

Unlike in previous matches where Kim Yeon-koung led the team, Hong Sung-jin, the team’s coach, opted to give Kim a break, allowing her to rest for bigger games.

Until the middle of the first set, Korea was trailing 15-12 and failed to get through New Zealand’s blockers. But once Kim Hee-jin was substituted into the game, the team quickly took the lead thanks to service aces from Lee Jae-eun and Yeum Hye-seon, and came out with a win in the first set.

During the second set, Park Jeong-ah once again led Korea in both offense and defense. After Park scored Korea’s 15th service ace of the game, Hwang Min-kyoung helped the team score 10 points, including the final point. Korea handily won the set 25-14.

Korea then took the lead in the third set as New Zealand struggled with continuous errors. Han Soo-ji ended the set with a service ace.

Korea will play its second game against Sri Lanka today at 3 p.m.

By Kang Yoo-rim


SK Wyverns’ Han Dong-min sent to bench due to injury

SK Wyverns slugger Han Dong-min has been ruled out for three months with a torn ligament in his left foot, a gruesome injury that has cut short his breakthrough Korea Baseball Organization season.

Han suffered the injury when he stole second base against the NC Dinos at Incheon SK Happy Dream Park on Tuesday. He slid feet first into the bag, and his left foot was bent awkwardly underneath. An initial MRI showed a torn ligament, and a second round of tests on Wednesday revealed the same.

Han, who turned 28 on Wednesday, was enjoying the best season of his five-year career. He was hitting 0.294 with 29 home runs, 73 RBIs, 21 doubles and 64 runs scored, all of them career-highs. He is tied for second in the KBO in home runs and 10th in RBIs.

With 37 games remaining in the schedule, Han will miss the rest of the regular season and also the postseason, should the Wyverns get there.

The Wyverns lead the KBO with 178 home runs, but they are in the middle of a second-half swoon that has seen them drop from third place at the All-Star break to sixth at 53-53-1 (wins-losses-ties). They’re three games behind the Nexen Heroes for the wild card spot.


Japanese lawmakers tapped to advise PyeongChang 2018

Five Japanese lawmakers were named special advisers for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in Korea on Wednesday, a move designed to help strengthen sports and cultural cooperation between the two neighboring nations.

The organizing committee for PyeongChang 2018 said the five advisers are Yuichiro Uozumi, Keiichi Koshimizu, Yasuhiro Nakagawa, Nobuhiro Miura and Takae Ito. All are representatives of the Komeito Party.

Two years after the PyeongChang Games, Tokyo will host the Summer Olympics. Organizers of the two host cities, along with the 2022 Winter Olympics host, Beijing, have held talks on working together to ensure efficient preparations for and promotion of their competitions. Earlier this year, the three host cities said they would explore possibilities of joint promotional activities for all three Olympic Games during the PyeongChang Games, among other potential cooperative projects.

The continent of Asia has never before hosted three consecutive Olympic Games.

“The appointment of these Komeito lawmakers as special advisers will provide a huge impetus to our countries’ mutual cooperation on the occasion of PyeongChang 2018 and Tokyo 2020,” said Lee Hee-beom, head of PyeongChang’s organizing committee. “Sports have always bound people together. This will strengthen our partnership.”

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