Osaka, Japan, November 1, 2010 - Yeong-Koung Kim is the unquestioned star of a Korean team that has already booked its place in the second round of the 2010 FIVB Women's World Championships in Japan.
Yeong-Koung Kim, who began playing volleyball at age 10, says she has a vision of "perfect playing." To attain that goal she is looking to a future even further abroad.
Yeong-Koung Kim put on a clinic in Sunday night's upset win over China, showing off a dazzling array of skills that could only leave observers shaking their heads. It is a treat to see a great athlete in any given sport when they are in their prime, but her performance on this night was especially impressive.
It has been said that a great player is one who makes all of their teammates better. In this contest Kim did exactly that.
The modest 22-year-old, who is blessed with both beauty and athleticism, pondered the statement for a moment before responding. "What I try to do is to motivate everyone including myself," Kim said. "It's not just about myself, but also my teammates."
The 192-centimeter striker plays her club volleyball in Japan for the JT Marvelous in the V-League. She says she decided to live outside of her native country to improve her skills. The volleyball level is higher in Japan than in Korea," Kim said. "This is why I am studying the game here. I believe I can raise my overall level playing in Japan."
Kim, who grew up as the youngest of three girls just outside of Seoul, tried to downplay her leadership role on the Korean team, even though it is quite obvious to even the most novice observer. "I just try to follow the head coach and captain's thinking," she said. "They set the tone."
Kim, who was the top scorer at last year's FIVB World Grand Champions Cup, believes her country has reached new heights at the world championships. "Korean volleyball is at its highest level now," she said. "Our goal is to make at least the semifinals here. We are also eyeing the Asian Games next month."
Kim, who began playing the sport at age 10, says she has a vision of "perfect playing." To attain that goal she is looking to a future even further abroad. "I came to Japan because I wanted to play at a world-class level," she said. "I would like to play in Europe someday to push myself even more."