2003 FIVB WORLD GRAND PRIX

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Korea

Following a sixth place finish at the 2002 World Championship in Germany the Korean national women's volleyball team has undergone a massive shake up in their ranks with a concentration on youth for this year's World Grand Prix.

Speed and fighting spirit are the traditionally qualities of Korea and although their much taller opponents take a psychological advantage in to each match due to Korea's lack of height (their tallest player being Kim Hyang-Suk at 191cm) it's the spirited defense and determination which sees Korea compete at the highest level.

Korea, currently ranked eighth in the world, has scaled the heights of a bronze medal at the Montreal Olympics in 1976 but more recently their results have tended to wane. A fact new head coach Kim Cheol-Yong is looking to address. Cheol-Yong and playmakers such as Kim Sa-Nee and Choi Kwang-Hee will be looked upon to lead Korea during this World Grand Prix campaign. Setter Sa-Nee has been inspirational in the past providing quality sets while Kwang-Hee is Korea's most potent weapon on attack.

Life will be tough for Korea with defending champions Russia, China, Canada, Thailand and Brazil in the same pool but their second-place finish at the Asian Games last year bodes well for a competition where they have been one of the most regular competitors since the tournament's inception in 1993.