South Korean volleyball players not afraid of Iran

August 14, 2019

TEHRAN – Two South Korean volleyball players say Iran are a tough team to beat but they are not invincible in the Asian qualifying tournament in January next year.

The six pool winners from the FIVB qualifiers secured direct qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and only the winners of the Asian qualifying tournament will qualify for the Olympics.

Before that comes the Asian Men's Volleyball Championship in Iran in September. The top eight teams from the 16-nation event will qualify for the continental qualifiers. Iran, world No. 8, are considered the class of Asia, and Australia (No. 16) and China (No. 20) are both ahead of South Korea in the world rankings as well. South Korea have not competed in the Olympics since 2000.

South Korea Captain Shin Yung-suk said his mindset is to focus on the process and let the results take care of themselves.

"Iran and Australia will obviously be tough to beat, but they're not invincible," Shin told Yonhap. "If we want to play in the Olympics, we're going to have to get past those tough teams."

Opposite striker Park Chul-woo said he was hoping Iran would qualify for the Olympics in the intercontinental event so that it wouldn't have to go through the Asian qualifiers in January, but that doesn't mean he will be intimidated against the Middle East power.

"In January, our guys will be in top form because it'll be in the middle of our professional season in the V-League," Park said. "We'll have all the best players available.”

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